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The myth of "political memoir": a feminist critique Mason, Mason, Hilary Catherine Louise Hilary Catherine Louise 1994

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THE MYTH OF “POLITICAL MEMOIR:”A FEMINIST CRITIQUEbyHILARY CATHERINE LOUISE MASONB.A., Carleton University, 1990A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of History)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1994© Hilary Catherine Louise MasonIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. it is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of_______________The University of British C umbiaVancouver, CanadaDa 2DE.6 (2/88)iiAbstractThis thesis examines the relationship between power andknowledge in the maintenance of a separate category of historicalliterature labelled “political memoir.” It adopts a feministdefinition of “political” and thereby challenges the fundamentaldichotomy between personal and political upon which such acategorization depends. Feminist literary analysis is used to readthe personal narratives of two women whose experiences would notnormally qualify as “political,” and two men whose experiences asdiplomats place them firmly within the tradition of “politicalmemoir” writing. The goal of such an analysis is to demonstrateboth the myriad ways in which personal experience is political andthe political implications of all personal writings. In this way,the thesis “deconstructs” the concept of political memoir andreaffirms the need for a fundamental restructuring of thecategories into which historical analysis has been divided.iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiAcknowledgements ivChapter One Knowledge, Power and Political Memoir 1Chapter Two Negotiating Identity in Twentieth-Century France 22Chapter Three Speaking With a Privileged Voice 53Chapter Four Conclusions 66Bibliography 73Addendum 76ivAcknowledgementsI would like to thank Dr. George Egerton for his constantencouragement of me to develop a feminist critique of the PoliticalMemoirs project. Thanks are also due to Dr. Dianne Newell for herencouragement and for facilitating my completion of this work. Iam very grateful to Dr. Joy Dixon for her willingness to step intoa project in progress and for guiding my initial encounters withacademic feminist theory. I especially appreciate that no matterhow much red ink she spilled on my copies, she saved enough to addpositive comments and useful suggestions.A tremendous debt of gratitude is owed to the women ofVancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter for teaching me that “thepersonal is political,” and in turn to Tamara Gorin and BelindaShelton for working with me to live that politic. Over years ofdiscussion, these women have contributed significantly to my ideasabout politics and academics. By demanding that I work to includeall I had learned as a political activist in my work as anacademic, they gave me the courage to tackle this project.Finally, I must thank the women graduate students of the UBChistory department and the women in the main office for theirsupport and good humour.1Chapter One:Knowledge, Power and Political MemoirThe term “political memoir” has been used since the mid-nineteenth century to classify the personal writings of politicalleaders, politicians, military figures, diplomats and high levelgovernmental bureaucrats or their close observers on the publicevents in which they were personally engaged. The place ofpolitical memoir as a category of historical literature hasrecently been reaffirmed by the publication of a series ofcolloquium papers, Political Memoir: Essays on the Politics ofMemory, edited by George Egerton of the University of BritishColumbia. However, in 1994, in the light of the extensive workdone in the past decade by feminists and postmodernists on thepolitics of gender and the relationships between power andknowledge, the time has perhaps come to reexamine the underlyingassumptions in the definition of this genre: to consider politicalmemoir as a myth which both results from, and contributes to themaintenance of, a particular sociopolitical order.In order to consider “political memoir” in this sense, we needto examine the ways in which unstated assumptions in workingconcepts shape the work we do as historians. The idea that theproduction of knowledge in our society is about who holds power,that knowledge functions to support power-interests and thatdominant ideas are often internalized and subsequently self-imposed(normalizing) is by now familiar in academic circles. According toSusan Bordo, these ideas originated in the social movements of the2l960s, including feminism.’ In academia, however, they are mostcommonly associated with such writers as Richard Rorty in NorthAmerica and Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault in Europe.2Each of these men has undoubtably developed importanttheoretical tools for the critique of knowledge and power insociety. Their writings, however, have been the subject ofnumerous criticisms for their androcentric bias and feminists needto consider seriously how we position feminist theory and movement3in relation to these “schools” of thought.4 The most extremestatements of a postmodern position tend to view all knowledgecreation as a dangerous power move, inevitably resulting inoppression and exclusion, and all attempts at social criticism interms of categories such as “women,” “blacks, “ or a particularSusan Bordo, “Feminism, Postmodernism and GenderScepticism” in Linda J. Nicholson ed., Feminism/Postmodernism (NewYork: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc., 1990), 137 and “Feminism,Foucault and the politics of the body” in Caroline Ramazanoglu ed.,Uo Against Foucault: Explorations of Some Tensions between Foucaultand Feminism (London: Routledge, 1993), 182.2 Bordo, 138.Feminist theorist bell hooks argues that the expression“feminist movement” should not be preceded by a definite articlesince no single unified movement exists. bell hooks in MaryChilders and bell hooks, “A Conversation about Race and Class” inMarianne Hirsh and Evelyn Fox Keller eds., Conflicts in Feminism(New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc.,l990), 79.The expression “school” here is used with some reservationin as much as the intention of these writers was not to create anew theoretical system but to produce critiques of suchdisciplining parameters on thought. Nevertheless, for all itsheterogeneity and looseness, postmodernism, has taken on the statusof a theoretical position and people continue to take stands for,against or in compromise with it.3“class” as harmful, totalizing fallacies which deny theheterogenous aspects of the individuals these categories claim torepresent.In the United States, a similar (but different) criticism wasdelivered by women of colours who demonstrated the ways in whichfeminist movement had focused on the experiences of white, middle-class women in theory-building to the exclusion of women ofcolours.5 These women were, indeed, not represented by what whitefeminists were saying. Such an error, however, is not bestrectified by denying the possibility of speaking about women.Instead, the stories and experiences of all women across race,class, sexuality, (dis)ability, language, culture and time need tobe gathered and considered so that real cornmonalities can be spokenof and differences can remain a source of strength in a commoncause.6 To deny the possibility of speaking of societal macro-structures is not only altogether too easy, it is also profoundlydisempowering to feminist movement.Naturally, feminists have different opinions and judgements ofpostmodernism. Various negotiations of position, some with theexplicit project of creating a postmodern feminism, have resultedin the exploration of many aspects of postmodern theory with theThe term “colour” is pluralized in order to reflect thediversity of peoples who face race oppression and the multitudinousways in which this plays out according to skin colour, whileacknowledging the unity of race oppression. I am grateful toElvenia Gray, feminist transition-house worker, for this criticism.6 Radical feminism holds that no single oppression can on itsown ever be ended; all oppression must end: hence the aspiration toa common cause. See also Susan Bordo, 139.4intention of using the theory for the empowerment of (some) women.In the field of history, the most powerful argument in favour ofthe adoption of poststructural theory was made by Joan WallachScott in her book Gender and the Politics of History, published in1988. Scott’s argument is both eloquent and passionate. Shewrites with conviction and persuasiveness of the possibilitiesopened by poststructural analysis. By analyzing the discourses ofgender in a specific place and period, historians can explore theways in which “politics constructs gender and gender constructspolitics.”Feminist history then becomes not the recounting of greatdeeds performed by women but the exposure of the often silentand hidden operations of gender that are nonetheless presentand defining forces in the organization of most societies.7With the aid of poststructural theory, Scott provides bitingcriticisms of the currently common definition of “the political”and of history as a “particular kind of cultural institutionendorsing and announcing constructions of gender.B Among herother essays, Scott provides an interesting rereading of E.PThompson’s seminal work The Making of the English Working Class.In “Women in The Making of the English Working Class,” Scott looksat the ways in which the discourse of gender with which Thompsonworked- identified as the assumptions about women, their role andplace in society - shaped ideas about class and made women’sJoan Wallach Scott, Gender and the Politics of History(New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 27.8 Scott, Gender and the Politics of History, 26 and 9.-—0HOI-LCD5h-LOCDC)“-LQCDCD—I-’LH-H-CDWn °Ct?C-t•F—SM-ICDCDI-tCDNOCDCDF—Cl)H-Cl)ed-ictHH-CDHH-C)0HCl)IC)C)HH-OQP)C)iCDH,Cl)3(i-h Cl)=H0CDCDH-ti)HCDF-SLOJ0:HH-LiHCi)CD<ct0‘1tJ:j0-k<MH-rtCDc-rOj0-Li0P1CDrtI‘-H-OLj- HH,HrtH-Cl):i LIH=-0••LiIQH-IC1)IciICi)HQ‘CDbiCD1crH1f—’Cl)-1Id,Cl)IOH-I.,.iQCl)H,C)=0rrC)P1C)C)Cl)P1Cl)H-rtP1HP1‘t50tQI-P1H-C)(1’CDC)CD0P1CDH0hCl)CDH5HHd’dr1IH-H-0P1H-H•CDCl)I—iC)H-H-rt0C)I.QI-C)Q,CD“<C)HHCDCDPJHCH-P1Ft“<H-HHoP1Cl)Cl)C)HFt-Cl)Cl)çtHFtHCl)QQ.CD<H,0Ft50CDHP1CDP)CDFtpH,C))I-C)C)<HCDJ0FtHCDC)P1P1=P10FtCl)Q,H-CD00FtH-I-H--QCl)P1FtC)Cl)“tCDC)H-FtCDHtiCl)Cl)FtFr Cl)C)H-ji--tQH-0FtCD-HçrFtCDCl)C)Cl)CD05Cl)H-CDSH-CDFtC)tiH-P1CDrrCl)FtFt0C)FtP1P1C)FtFtHP1HCl)P1I’CDICDCDH-CDH-H-0H-CDCl)Ftl)5hC)Ci)C)H,Ft-Cl)tiHC)<Cl)0C)HoCDpcrC)igCDH,P1H,CD-H-CDHH-Cl)CDFtCl)-H,CDNHHH.pjH-FtP1=H,HCDHFtCi))I-CD‘H-CD‘<H(Q<M,QCl)H-Cl)Cl)P1C)CDH.tiCDLiH-Cl)Ftc1I-’C-tCDC)FtCDçtHCl)CDHH0H,-CDFtCDHFtCDH-H-CJCDCDPIP)P1P)P1l’p1Cl)C)Cl)QC)Ft‘<(Q,<P1P1P1CD•Ci)Cl)Cl)QP1H(l)FtH,0h--H-CD-Cl)I-ij°Cl)0CDHCDFtCDC)P1H-CDHC)H-‘H,0Cl)Cl)H,H-CDCDo-8QH-dtrjQ0CDCl)CD0H,-FtH,CDfrH-p1CDCDCl)><CDCDCD0CDCDP1}l’<Cl)CDtiCl)(‘CC)(‘CCl)H,QCl)CDCDCDHH-P1P1f)P10C)P1H-ClQ--tH,H,Ij0P1Cl)CD8S<Hc’rC)tiFtCDr’CDCDSHCDQCDI-Ft‘CCl)C),<CDI-0HH,P1Ft‘tCD‘iCDH,E’.Ft‘C-CDP1-‘IP1CD(QH•—--IICDCDaHC)HP1çtCD‘‘‘(QH,l<CD50HFtFtCDQ’CC)Cl)H,dl)0P1CDCl)Cl)P)H.H-HP1C)00p100C)FtFtFtCl)CDHFtHH0H,P1CDFt1<HCl)HH-HCl)FtHQ1CDFtFtFtOH,C)CDP1MH,HH-ZCl)CD01Cl)Ft0Cl)Cl)CDFtQP1CDCDCD<.hH,HCDQCD0I-iLfl6with the more traditional investigation of what people actuallyexperienced and how they actively negotiated with the variouscompeting discourses which sought to interpret/define theirexperiences 12The study of the discourses of social reform in Weimar Germanywhich Canning provides to illustrate the approach she advocates ispowerful. It is also empowering in that it demonstrates the powerof historical subjects to recognize, negotiate and ultimatelycreate discourse describing/defining their lives. It demonstratesorganization and activism. Women are not portrayed as the(largely) powerless objects of discourse.While Canning’s work explicitly acknowledges a debt to workssuch as Scott’s, it is questionable whether her work will beaccepted among academic circles as postmodern or if she will beaccused of trying to avoid the radical implications of post-structural theory. It can, however, be argued that this is a mootpoint. Feminist theory and analysis need not be held accountableto the writings of men (even postmodern theorists) . Nancy Fraser,for instance, has pointed out the contradictory aspects of bothDerridean theories and Foucauldian writings and the various andopposed interpretations which they make possible.’3 Why shouldfeminists negotiate with these contradictions when feminist12 Canning, 374-374.‘ Nancy Fraser, “Michel Foucault: a “Young Conservative?” and“The French Derrideans” in Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse andGender in Contemporary Social Theory (Minneapolis: University ofMinnesota Press, 1989), 35-54, and 69-92.7politics provides an evaluative principle arguably more liberating?If we consider instead how a theory or practice can be empoweringto feminist movement, particularly to those with the least power,then questions of theory are held accountable to those who feministtheory by definition exists to serve. Susan Bordo’s warning isparticularly apt:We need to consider the degree to which this [debate aboutmethod] serves, not the empowerment of diverse cultural voicesand styles, but the academic hegemony (particularly inphilosophy and literary studies) of detached, metatheoreticaldiscourse 14Doris Sommer identifies this privilege in a particularly humblingway in her article “‘Not Just a Personal Story’: Women’sTestimonios and the Plural Self:”To doubt referentiality in testimonials would be anirresponsible luxury, given the urgency of the call to action.If the narrator has been raped countless times by Somoza’sNational Guardsmen ... or if she has followed the slow stagesof her mother’s torture at the hand of the Guatemalan armyor had the baby in her womb literally kicked out of her duringtorture in a Bolivian prison, ... just to give a few examples,she might well wonder at the academic pause we take inconsidering how delayed or artificial her reality is.’5In the study of personal narrative, then, theory must serve tohighlight rather than undermine or mask the politics revealed.Personal experience is both political and real.In a chapter entitled “Struggle Over Needs: Outline of aSocialist Feminist Critical Theory of Late Capitalist Political‘ Bordo, 142.Doris Sommer “‘Not Just a Personal Story’ : Women’sTestimonios and the Plural Self” in Bella Brodzki and CelesteSchenck eds., Life/Lines: Theorizincj Women’s Autobiography (Ithaca,N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988), 120.8Culture” in her book Unruly Practices: Power Discourse and Genderin Contemporary Social Theory, Nancy Fraser develops a powerfulcritique of the discourses of social needs which takes into accountthe imbalance of power among the various contenders and values bothindividual initiative and the power of social movements to (re)actand create.’6 Although informed by careful critical considerationof the works of numerous postmodern theorists, Fraser’s work is inno sense accountable to those theories. Instead it is accountableto a specific feminist politic where theory is adopted andevaluated as a strategy. Approaches such as Fraser’s and Canning’ssuggest a methodology useful for an analysis of personal writingswhich can value these texts as personal negotiations of multiplecompeting public discourses which shape personal identity andpolitical thought.In fact, knowledge production and control has been a longstanding subject of feminist critical thought and the analysis ofdiscourse is not necessarily different from the long standingfeminist practice of examining who is saying what and in whatterms. During the present wave of feminism, as women began openlyto discuss the conditions of their lives in consciousness-raisinggroups, much of what had been said to be true by the church, theeducational system, the medical system, the state, and academia (toname only a few examples) was called into question. Women’smovement has challenged the interests which lurk behind variousconstructions of knowledge and women have acted to produce new and16 Fraser, 161-187.C-I-QC)OCDCD0I-c-rCDC-I-0:I)ç)Q)ci)I_Cifrl)H-CDI-H-I-C-I-ci)<:H-H-C-Ici)N0H-Hci)U)CDH-MiC)0ci)Hici)C-MitCDci)CDci)c•)o‘-ci)CDMiU)cI H-H=00MiC-I-ci)c-I-ciHH-ciCDci-t-U)—CDH-CDHU)0MitQ0Hi-_C)H-H-H-Hici)ciC-CDH-H-(IiC-ICDU)H-H-Mici)C-I-CD‘-<CDcici)H-U)C-IC-I-HCD1J‘-‘lcIC-ICDC-I-H-CDCDMiCDci)c1F-I-’CDHI—ici)U)ci)ciC)C)H-HH-CI-c1CD‘-0H-CDci)ci0U)U)H-ci)Hci)H-‘-<H(Qci)ci)ciC-I-3U)CDD0(QU)CDCDCDC)HH-<CDHMiCDCDU)CLi-<00C-I-0CDI-’C)<U)ci)C)H-ci)C-I-C-IH-U)ci)F-(QU)ci)ci)M0C-I-)C-IHC)-HCDCDci)CDCDciU)U)CD0U)C-IC-I-H-CDHC-I-CDC-I--ci)CT)a-0ciMiH-C-I<dH-C-ci)CDCDciHCDi-0Cl1.<‘Hci)CDHCDMiCDCDIHC-I-T))U)C) HMiaC)MioO0H-U)C)CDHCDoC-I-U)U)C-I(Q0Hci)H-H-0C-I-CD<--oHU)hC-ICD—U)0ci3_CDci)HCDCDCDCDHCD-C-IU)00C)CDC)pi<QHc-I-Ci)U)H•I—iU)<CDCDCDCDH-CDMizj<0H-cCDC-I-CDci)frwociiCDC-I-h’HCDMiL1U)CDCDCDH-H-ciciU)NC)H-CDC-I0C-I-C-I-U)ci00C-I-CDClci)<ci)CDU)CDci)ci)CQI-H-0CDCD< CDCDciHci)HLi.oCDCDC)t-ci)0C-I-U) CDH-C-I-CDHCDoQU)C)U)C-I-HC-I--<CDci)0ci)S ci)0C)ciH-Mici)U)i0H-CDH-CDH-U)•ci)C-I-H0cici)H-ci)CD-CDMiC-I-ci)0MiH-CDci)SH-ciH-—MiC-I-H-H-CDci)C-I-H-U)0CDC-I CDci)Hci)I-<SCDrCDC)ci)ci)C)H0U)Hci)CDCDC-I-HciI-HMiCDC-I0Hci)(QCDcici)ciU)H-C-I-C-I0HCDC)CD-CD H- CD-.coH 0ci) C)oJU)0 OiC-I1DC-I- H-U) C-I- 0 H 0 II H- U) H- U) IOLi ‘-jU) U) c-4 0 ci)U) 0 HC HO ci)ci) C)H U) (1)CDC-I C)Hci OH C-I CD —Cl G0O CDci) H- ciC) (Dci)c I—(Q CD OH ci)”H ci C-I-H- :-< o CDCD5 CD U) OH HC-I H-< C-I- H- H- 0 C)Mi U) MiH- C) xci) H-(Q U)O C-I- O‘--3 CDCD •U)0 U) H CDci) C) CD ci) ciCDCDH-S H--C)H-U)l-C) C-Ici)CDci)<ci)i-HI-jC-I-CDC-I-H-Mi=MiC-I-C-I0CDI-CDCQ= H-ci)H ci)çICDU) •c:CD U)1:5•.,C-IH-CDHCDCDci)=CDH-C)U)0C-I-S U)C-I-0 C-I-ci) C-I-CDCD Mi00C-I00‘-ClQJHU)C-I-0ci H- Mi Mi CD CD C-I H ci U) 0 Mi 0 H CD ci CD Cl) C) C) ci) (p CD U) C) ci) H H CD (p CD U) ci) CD 0 C-ID10was reflective solely of the experience of their own race, classand gender, but also claimed the right to speak for all and tojudge the histories of others according to standards which had beencreated to guide the pursuit of a unified historical narrative.When the membership of academia began to include (some) others, theresulting proliferation of perspectives on the past, many of whichwere fundamentally incompatible, dismayed those in search of aunifying narrative - history of the nation (or even the world).The reservation of the label “political” for a minority ofthe population masks a project similar to that of the pursuit of aunifying metanarrative because it presumes that the importantpolitics of an age were the preserve of an elite minority. In theexpression “political memoir,” the term “political” is not intendedto describe the nature of a memoir as an actual object; that is,the criteria for labelling a memoir “political” are not aboutwhether or not the memoir is political in its agenda or impact.(For some historians, the possibility of political intentions inmemoirs constitutes one of the primary dangers of the use ofmemoirs written by former politicians and other high-poweredofficials.)’9 Instead, “political” is used to identify the subjectof the memoir: these are writings about “political” events andactions, where politics is implicitly limited to the domain of“high politics” or affairs of the state.19 See for example Robert Young “Partial Recall: PoliticalMemoirs and Biography from the Third Republic” in “PoliticalMemoir: Essays on the Politics of Memory” ed. George Egerton. Ts,63.11This limited and, arguably, dated definition of “political”remains entrenched in academia. Within the historical community,political history continues to be viewed as the study of theelection and administration of government, public agitation forreform of government, the relationships between governments, andoften the traditional branches through which government isadministered (diplomatic corps, defense, finance, etc.): in brief,“high politics.”20 The feminist contention that the personal ispolitical has seemingly had no impact.Of course this is not true; it has had tremendous impact onthe study of women and many historians continue to do interestingand valuable research demonstrating the political implications ofwomen’s writings and actions.21 That there has not yet been acorresponding adjustment in the way historians categorize theirwork testifies to the conservative grasp of habit and thefundamental link between the classification of knowledge and theexercise of power. We can and must change the way we speak aboutour work, and by implication how we think about our lives.Obviously, to advocate doing so is a political move; to neglect or20 An example of the maintenance of this conception ofpolitics can be found in Political Memoir: Essays on the Politicsof Memory ed. George Egerton. Of eighteen essays, twelve concernthe memoirs of heads-of-state, politicians or diplomats; two areconcerned with armed defense of the state; one with state-organizedspying; one traces the tradition among political leaders in India;and two, written by women-as-observers, again concern affairs ofstate.21 At the University of British Columbia, for instance, PamelaBoniface’s 1991 MA thesis “The Personal is Political: RussianSchoolmistresses Speak for Themselves” is an important example.(QI—hItjçtQ0MCDICD—0H-‘tiC)0HCl)C)0fr00CDCD<‘I-‘-<CD0MH-c-iQ<0CDHHCDI---F-CDCDH-I-<i--<0CDCDSH-H-Cl)H-Ci)HC)C)‘tCl)c-i-CDCD0h’I-C)ctc-i-CD-CDc-i--Cl)0H-H-CDHH-c-i-CD0CDCD0CDCDCl)C)Cl)5c-i-‘-IICDcrC)C)P)<0l-Cl)c-i-(g)H--0CDCDCDCD))Cl)C)CDH-CD0Cl)0CDI-hM5CDC)(QHc-i-HCl)Cl)0H‘Cl)5CDH-0—c-i-Cl)))Cl)c-i-CDc-i-0Cl)MCl)0CDH,HHl-Hhi,H-H,H-Cl)HHH-Cl)CDCD-C)C)CDH-crni--CDH--j-0Cl)Cl)0CDCl)0ICDCl)C)c-i-H05tICl)0CDCl)00Cl)CDi-00CD0c-i-SpHCl) 0H,HHc-i-CDH-H,H CDCD(l)0CDc-i-i-CDc-i-CDN•H-0HCD0CDc-Cl)CDUCDH,H-HCD-.CDCDHH-H-H0HCDCDCDP)c-i-c-i-Cl)t0CIc-i-SHH-H-HH-c-i-H-c-i-CDCDC)0CDC)0j))HJ)HCl)Cl)QCl)Cl)c-i-Cl)Cl)c-i-CDHcu-c-i-H-C)c-i-Cl)IH-aH-Cl)c-i-c-i-HCDCD000C)HaCD HH-jH-•Cl)-QCl)CD50<CD‘CDCD-H-0Cl)c-ic-i-Cl)-Hc-i-l))QH,C)c-i-0CDHi-rni-C)(1Cl)-CDCl)CDQCl)c-i-Hc-i<H,CDCDc-i—0CD00c-i-Cl)H-H-0CD<0hIciH5H,H-c-i-0HCD00H-CDCDCl)j.CDHl)(QCliCD<Cl)CDc-i-C)H-H0Hc-i-i-hH-Cl)CD-IIi-•HCDP0CDCDH-H-0Cl)ClH-0H-H-5HHCD(P0<hi-,(PH-iCD<H,c-ii-CDCl)CDci-c-i-ç-hIHHH-H-HCl)50i(J)H,CDc-i-•H-H-H-CDM0Cl)HH-c-i-H-ø-0H,H-pHQCDl<Cl)C)Cl)Cl)C)Cli0c-i0H-0c-i-‘Cl)HCl)H-CDc-i-Cl’H-H-H<‘-<HH-H-‘H3H,0H-H-CDCDHH,CliCl)HiCliI-IHc-i-,<c-i-H-CliHC)HHCli0CDHHHC)0CDHH-H-c-i-H-c-i-CD0c-i-CDH5Cl)HCl)QH-0H-0Cl)‘<CDC)0HCD0c-i-HCDCl)H,Cl)(1)c-i-H0CDc-i-)CliHcliCli(QQClic-i-H-0CDIiH-c-i-CliCDIjH-0Cl)Cl)HCDH-H-c-i-I-hZ<0H,c-i-CDCl)H-00CDC)CDC)c-i0CDH-hIhIQCl)CDI-CDCliCDHMC)3c-i-Cl)Cl)0c-i--<Cl)H-0H-hIH-H-CliH0H00CliCl)Q(ClCD0c-i-CD(PhIQHH-l0c-i-CDH3H-H-CliCDCDCDCDCDc-i-CDH-‘<‘<Cl)H,-hIc-i-Cl)Q<Cl)Q.hIQClihICl)CD<Cl)i-siCDci-CDU)CDt’i<CD<0(1U)LCDCDbH-çii-nCD0ci-CDc-i-H-H-c-i-c-ifrj(Dci-Q0=QH---,H-1H,‘(Q0Hc-i-ci-i-00(QH0CDHCi-i-j)c-i-C0CDLQCDi--hi-i)QfrCD<H-I—CDFpNHCDc-i-CD<c-i-0H-Cfl=Q.,..(CDCDI-tjO1—jc-i-c-iiCflt3<H,HH0c-i-s)a0H-cQ=0H°0aCDJciCDCl)CDc-ii-CDHCD-CD0CTh<clj•HHCD01-i-0H-LTJ•HH-CDQH-<U)rtCDCDCi)CDU)CDI-’H-00c-i-CD0-U)H--c-i-c-1HaU)=CDCDCDHH.HCDrt-CDjH-—U)H-c-i-c-i-HCD(çjCDCDaI-hc-I0U)CDH-c-i-0ciHc-i-U)H,H-0CDH-H-c-i-Hci-0CDCDpCDU)0H-CDc-i-aU)H-CDF-Qc-i-CD3-CDCD1CSH-dCDc-i-CD‘-CDfrH-H-CDH-CD0U)0CDc-i-CDU)CDU)aaU)0U) U)a,-t-t3U)U) CDc-ij-H<0U)CDH-H H-U)U)H,•c-i- CDF-JH=CD0U)H0i-H-H(0c-i-H-H-c-i-0H-)U)0HU)1<HCD=0<H,CD c-iCD 00U)U)c-i-CDCDU) 0aCDc-i-0H-H-00 c-i-0U)U)I-iaaI-01xJl0CDb0H,U)U)l-HCDc-i-H-c-i-HIIc-i-C-i-<CDH-CDU)CDi-0 U)C_i-U)0<CDH-I-<•CD-HU)0U)c-i-c-i-CDU)0l-H-HH-c-i-HCDc-Ic-i-HU)HCDc-i-0CDU0U)H0H0c-i-_0H,H-U)-‘H-0 H-aCDHU)U)HH-CDc-i-H--hU)3c-i-H-0c-i-CDci-DiH-H-rii00CDU)Hc-I-c-ibU)0CDc-i-‘tHc-i-CDCDi—iH c-i-CDU)lH-CDCD0ac-i-vU) Hc-i-H-U)-=c-i-c-i-0CDU)U)CDc-i-0H-Hc-i-<<H-0H-H-c-i-c-i-CDH-H-0U)CDCDU)i-U)0HaCD•H,l CD0U)H0aU)CDCDHU)H,H-U)HI—CCl)U)I--Cc-i-U) c-IHH-U)‘--C<c-i-H-CD0U)I-jl•H-0U)HU)ci-c-i-00 ‘-CCDaU) aH,CD0 I—Cci-c-i CD 0‘-‘HH,H-ci-c-i- H-CD c-i0UIH,a H-U)cc H 0U)U)CDHHU) U)U) HCDHH-c-i-H0c-i-H-U)CH-H,U)c-i0H-CDHc-i-H-=H-LQH-c-i-‘rjU)0Q0CD00HU)c-i-aHc-i-H-Hc-i-H-H-c-i-CDH-(QU)c-i-0H-0H-H-0H,H,U)0U)U)0U)U)HCc-i-HU)-0=H-0CDl-H-a0H-i-j)c-i-U)H,c-i-CD0HCDI--CCQHCDCDCD).Q0‘I-CHU)CDH-I-jCDc-iH-H-H-CDaU’0U)CDHH-U)c-r-U)-c-i-c-i-CDCDCD0U’U)CD•H,H,Hac-i-U)H-U)c-i-a0CDCDc-i-U)HHCD(QQU)U)I-hHCDHaCDHi-f)IU)<-U)U)CD0Hac-i-c-i-HCDHH-H-f—c-i-H<H-H-c-i-CDc-i-U)HoCDaH-<SU)c-i-H-0U)H-HCDH-c-i-c-i-HH,c-i-c-i-00c-i-CD0U)HU)0c-i-U)CDSU)U)H,U)CD(0CDCDH,0CDH,5CDCDaQH00<CDU)H-U)Cc-i‘-‘I0H-CDHU)=aM-H,U)HH,c-i-0 H H-c-i- H-0 U) 0 H, U) U) CD 0 I-C H LQ H-c-i U) 0 U) a CD H, H H- c-i- H 0 0 H, 0 H H- c-i- H- 0 U)HHLi-)14has been maintained even by those struggling to draw attention topreviously neglected voices. Mary Jo Maynes uses it in “Gender andNarrative Form in French and German Working-Class Autobiographies”:Then, of course, came the great wave of working-classpolitical narratives by the Communards involved in theinsurrections of 1870-71. Some of these were fairlyrestricted political memoirs, but others were full-fledged autobiographies •23Maynes seems to label these writings “political” only because theycontain information about the Conimunard uprising which comes withinthe traditional definition in terms of the effect on the state.Radical intentions are twisted and confined by the unquestionedparameters within which the study takes place.The interested nature of the definition of “political” currentin academic circles and in force in the labelling of historiographyis an example of the ways in which knowledge produced in academia,funded ultimately by government and/or money interests (dependingon the country) serves to maintain the status quo. The concept of“political memoirs” serves to limit the numbers of those who canspeak with personal authority on politics. Academics, of course,can claim “professional” authority; and the rest of us can barkfrom the sidelines.The observation that we are all “political” historians, in thesense that we are people with our own political views whichperforce influence how we research and write history is generally23 Mary Jo Maynes, “Gender and Narrative Form in French andGerman Working-Class Autobiographies” in Personal Narratives Grouped. InterpretincT Women’s Lives: Feminist Theory and PersonalNarratives, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 112.15acknowledged with annoyance and quickly disregarded. Feministscannot afford for such observations to be dismissed as truisms.They are fundamental to achieving meaningful change withinacademia. Those who succeed in pretending that their work supportsno political agenda are those whose agendas are most linked withmaintaining the status quo.Feminist literary theorists have done considerable work indemonstrating the gender bias inherent in the classificationsestablished by the literary canon. Traditionally, while someoverlap between the two genres is acknowledged, the distinctionbetween memoir and autobiography is defined as a difference offocus: the memoir is centred outward on others while theautobiography focuses inward on the development of the self.24 Theboundary between these related genres, however, is under siege,particularly from feminist scholars investigating autobiographicalwritings by women.The notion of the self upon which the distinction is based hasexplicitly been that propagated by Enlightenment thought and thesuccess and/or merit of an autobiography was, until recently,determined on the basis of the author’s ability to trace thedevelopment of such an autonomous self. Literary theorist SidonieSmith articulates the consequences of such assumptions:Generic clothes have made the man, so to speak. Making men inspecific ways, these practices reinforce dominant ideologies,official histories, and founding mythologies of the subject.In effect, the white, male, bourgeois, heterosexual human24 Roy Pascal Desicrn and Truth in Autobiocrraphy, (Cambridge,Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1960), 5.16being becomes representative man, the universal human subject.“His” life story becomes recognizable, legitimate, andculturally real. Making representative men in this way,generic practices reinforce the subjectivities provided tothose who do not share this set of identities. Moreover, theyneutralize or suppress ideologies, histories, andsubjectivities non-identical to those of the universal humansubj ect 25In other words, a subjectivity which distorts and does not fitis constructed as universal. For women autobiographers, adherenceto this concept of individuality has been virtually impossible, orhas been approximated only at a very high cost. In “The OtherVoice: Autobiographies of Women Writers,” Mary Mason argues thatthe four archetypes for English-speaking women’s autobiographiesemerged in England during the early middle ages. In each, theauthor reveals herself in terms of her relationship to an Other:God, her father, her husband or her spiritual community.26 Asimilar observation is made by Mary Jean Green in her study ofwomen’s autobiographies in Quebec. She finds “a focus onrelationships with others rather than, as in men’s autobiographies,on the development and successful accomplishment of the self.”27This concern with self/other relationships need not suggest thattwo separate (gender) paradigms are required for the study of25 Sidonie Smith, “Whose Talking/Who’s Talking Back? TheSubject of Personal Narrative” Sicins: Journal of Women in Cultureand Society 18 (1993), 393. See also: Brodzki and Schenckintroduction, 1-2.26 Mary G. Mason “The Other Voice: Autobiographies of womenWriters” in Brodzki and Schenck, 22-23.27 Mary Jean Green, “Structures of Liberation: FemaleExperience and Autobiographical Form in Quebec” in Brodzki andSchenck, 1889.UiCD I-I:-’CDH H CDC1)(DI-HçtFr CD FrCDFr HJ) •HQFrH-0Q CD(DCl)I) H-HCDCD=Cl)-3UiFrl))Cl)C)H-CDHCl)DCt)CDCl)H-CD0Z(H-(i)HCDPiDFrQFrC)QQFrH-CD00CDCD0H,Cl)i—FrC)-I-i,H-CD0CDt))CD0Cl)FrH-J0Cl)QFrCDHClCl)H-H-HPiFrtiCDC)CDCDCDH-CDFr0H-Fr0Fr0FrH-H-F-iFrI-iCDCDNPiCDPH-F-0Hk<FrCl)LiH0CDC)(DyCl)<UiCDCDp)F-ICDFrQ-H•CD‘Fr0C)CDH-CDFrHHFr‘tH,FrC)1’00P)0FrCDPi0H,FrHP)Fr0UiOCDPi<F-IH,Q0FrCD)FrQCDH,HCDCDCl)H°MH,CD0H-0HpjC)CD0HlJCDCl)H-P)ti0CDFrH,0HPiMFr-C)H-0CDHHH<0FrHpi00CDH-Cl)CDtiF-0CDQI-”H-(QCl)CDQp‘CDFrCl)frIFrCDH-piCDI-ICCD0CD-C)PiH--.Cl)CDH-tiP)FrCDFr0CDCl)MQCDCl)HCDCl) CD1Cl)-rCD<H-MH-0Pi0=1<Cl)HCl)0H,ipF-pH-HF1CD“CDPiP)FCl)H,CDIH0HFrCl)H-Cl)H,CDCl)HQjj(j)CDFrHH-CDCDFrP10M HH-H-0CDH,-frICl)Cl) HFrGCl)QH,F-CDFrCDCl)Cl)Cl)CDCl)ICDP1(Qc-r1Fri_Cl)CDCl)MFrQpCDFrCDFrH-HCl)10Fr0Fr0HCDFr-Pik<HH-<rrCD0-F-I-1CDHP1C)FrI—iCD-I-IQ.l.<FrH0tHH-FrCDH-P1FrCl)(1CDH,HpHFrCl)H0FrH-CDCDCD(DC)0•HHH-HCDpiCl)M0FrHCDCDP‘HCDCDHHCDOc-i-CDCDHFrH0HCDMC)H-C)CDCDHCDMHFrCD00FrP1CD0FrC)C)CDCDH-Cl)P1F-IH-HFrHFr-CDCDC)Fr Cl)rJ0Cl)CDCl)HP1CDCDFr-ClCl)C)H-H-CDFrH-P1CDCDH-P1<FrCDHCl)Cl)HCl)P1<H-H-H-FrCl)P1i.‘-<UiCDFrFr0H0piP1Frti0Cl)CDCDHH-HCDHH-Fr00HcH,C)P1CDLQMNFrMCDH-I-C)HFrCDCDCl)H-tiH-pl<Cl)Frp1Cl)H-H,ClFrC)H,FrFrFr0CDH-Cl)D0H-0H-••H-P10HH-H-H0Cl)FrH-HF-ICl)=CDF-MCDCDC)—F-H,0-18the world as Simone de Beauvoir, contemporary Asian-American authorMaxine Hong Kingston chooses to frame her own “otherness” inwestern society by casting the story of her childhood in the genreof memoirs, presenting herself an observer and part-actor in alarger story of community. In The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of aGirlhood amonc Ghosts, Kingston consciously liberates herself bothfrom the obligation to construct a unified self in the tradition ofthe western male model, as well as from the obligation to create aunified, linear narrative.30 Lee Quinby argues that to disregardKingston’s generic manoeuvre would be to miss the radicalimplications of this move.Unlike the subjectivity of autobiography, which is presumedto be continuous over time, memoirs (particularly in theircollective form) construct a subjectivity that is multiple anddiscontinuous. The ways that an “I” is inscribed in thediscourse of memoirs therefore operate in resistance to themodern era’s dominant construction of individualized selfhood,which follows the dictum to, above all else, know thy interiorself. In relation to autobiography, then, memoirs function ascount ermemory)’Quinby’s charge that the author’s choice of generic form must berespected is worth heeding to a point. It must be remembered,however, that her demand is based on her study of the writings ofa late twentieth century author who, for all her originality andbrilliance, lives in a society where the level of popularconsciousness about ideas and forms, and about relationships° Lee Quinby, “The Subject of Memoirs: The Woman Warrior’sTechnology of Ideographic Selfhood” in Sidonie Smith and JuliaWatson eds. Decolonizing the Subject: The Politics of GenderWomen’s Autobiography (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,1992), 297.31 Quinby, 298.19between oppressed peoples and dominant cultures, is quite high.Quinby’s analysis is not necessarily applicable to the writings ofall women in all times.Many women have not had the privilege of living in a societyin which ideas about the naturalness of the (white, middle-class,heterosexual) male norm, long taken for granted, are under siege.While women might have sensed the discordance between the storythey were trying to tell and the forms they were trying to use, itis unlikely that they would have identified the source of theproblem as the inappropriateness of the western (male)autobiographical model. Studying the blurring of genericboundaries, the transgression of limits, and the distortionsresulting from attempts at generic adherence remains a potentiallyfruitful method for examining women’s life writings.Literary critic Ellen Peel has used this sort of approach tothe writings of Doris Lessing. Peel argues that Lessing hasformulated a radical critique of the notion of autobiography. Inan article entitled “The Self is Always an Other: Going the LongWay Home to Autobiography,” Peel examines what she calls the“approach/avoidance [to autobiography] pattern” in Lessing’s work.32Lessing begins works which would seem autobiographical, butredirects the focus to society and/or those around her. Peelexplains:In order to understand her statements [about the artificialityof writing about oneself], it is essential to understand that32 Ellen Peel, “The Self is Always an Other: Going the LongWay Home to Autobiography” Twentieth Century Literature 35.1, 1.w w CD CD H LI]Qc1P1)U)MCD-3H-P1)U)H-‘ZctCDCDCDCDXH-CDP1)0P1)P1)I-hU)CDCDCDHtiH(CDQ<U)C)CrCDQH-CrP1)0HP1)‘-H0H-U)CDH-CDP1HH-CrH-=H-CrCDCrC)HCDI-C)H-0i-C)H-U)H-CDP1)H-IhCrU)Hrt0HU)0U)HCr<CDtQ0HCDCDH-‘‘I-CDP1)H-CDCrP1CDC)C)CDF—CDCrCD0‘<0U)CDCrCDHP1U)H-CDi-CDU)H-0H-0H-CDP1)U)H-H-CrCrC)Ih0CrU)=CDU)CD1ICrQU)0CrCDCDP1)CDIICrt50tiCDHP1)HU)H.H0H-(()CD—U)CDU)H0H-P1)HCr0CDCDP1)H-CD0U)CD0CDH-H,HCrCrHH-Q-c-rHCD0I-htiCDCrCr-H-CDC)H-0H,:-H--I-H,CDCDF-U)0CD)CDHH-P1)(DQ.CDCDCDC)C-r0HCrU)C)HI-hP10C)Cr-0CrH0CrHP1)‘tiP1)CrCDCDCDCDH-CrH00ct0Cl)H-CDP1)H-U)H-CDH,H-H-H-CrCDC)HP1)QH-I-hQ-HCDP1)H-C)CD0C)U)0HCrCrH-CDgP1)P1)-g,H,H-P1)H-U)H-0CDH-CrH-CDCDCrP1)CDH-00Cr3CDCDCrHCrU)=CD><CDH,0ti000<ociH,H-CDP1)ti=U)Ct0U)Cl)0CDH-Q0Cr-0—rHCDI-hP1H-HHCDCrP1)ci-CDCr(QCrH-P1)H-CrI-0H-<Cr0C)•H-CrU)H0CDH,CDCrCD0H-CrQ.Cr0P1)0C)pH-CDHP1)0CrCDCr0C)MHCD0P1)P1)0CDCrU)HM0P1)0I-I,HHCDHH,U)CDCDHHU)P1)CDC)Cr0H-CrCr0H-H-C)Q-JCDCDCDU)CrH,H-H--P1)I-C)CD0CrCDH-HP1)CrCr-P1H-P1)P1)CD<P1‘CDI-j0Cr•.çt00H=CrC)U)CDHHI-hI-h0-l-CDCr‘<.U)ZH,CDCDCD,CDC)H,P1)U)U)P1)Cr.U)CD00H-tiCr00CDQ.QI-hCrC)C)HCDH,CD00H,CDH-U)Cr0P1JH-U)U)H=U)(1)U)CDP1)<H-I-H-CDCD‘H-aCC)P1))HCrCrU)Q.CtH-I-U)HCrCDP1)CDCDCDU)0.U)00CrH,Cr1P1))—HCrCDU)CrCrHHU)H-H-C)CrH0CtHCD<CDCDQ.<H,H-CDtH0U)H-P1)--0I-CDH-CDCDi-P1)P1)CrI—0-CrC)CrU)P1)H-HH-I-h0CrC)C)C)CrCr0H-CrU)(QH-CrH-Cr0H-CDP1)P1)P1)0CDH-P1)C)<Z00CD0CD0‘iU)QHCDHCDI-CDU)-CDCDI-hI-hU)I-hP1)21enables us to explore an individual’s exercise of and resistance topower and the creation of self/other identities. We need to readtexts as negotiations of, or conforming to, dominant genericparadigms. Historians can examine the ideas and factors which anauthor considers worthy of inclusion and those which are (perhapssurprisingly) excluded. We must consider both the author’sexplicit and implicit political purpose for writing the narrativeand what that reveals about who they were in their society and whattheir society was like.In the following chapters, the narratives of French feministphilosopher and writer Simone de Beauvoir, and French schoolteacher and grass roots activist Emilie Carles; and Frenchdiplomats Robert Coulondre and André Francois-Poncet, will be readwith particular attention to the ways in which their texts revealpersonal negotiations of socio-political macrostructures intwentieth-century France. Such readings will demonstrate the waysin which personal and political are fundamentally linked.22Chapter Two:Negotiating Identity in Twentieth-Century FranceIn traditional “political” history, the advent of the ThirdRepublic in France in 1871 is said to have ushered in an era ofboth political change and long term structural political stability.Within the first ten years, “democracy” in France had been securedand grass roots organizing began the spread of Republican idealsthroughout France.’ Without dismissing the significance of thedemocratic structures put in place and of the reforms undertaken bythe Third Republic, such sweeping praise must be tempered. Thesereforms did not fundamentally alter the condition of French women,2who remained ineligible to vote until 1944 when the Fourth Republicreplaced the Vichy Regime. Patriarchy in the French familyremained the foundation of the French state: basic rights toindependence and self determination began slowly to be conceded tomarried French women only in the late 1960s and early l97Os. Tolook on the Third Republic as the regime which finally securedfreedom and democracy for the French nation, then, would betragically silly.‘ See for example Gordon Wright France in Modern Times: Fromthe Enlicthtenment to the Present 4th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton &Company, 1987), 211-274; or Alfred Cobban A History of France Volume3: 1871-1962 (Harmondsworth: Cox & Wyman Ltd., 1965) 9-84.2 In any given society, women generally represent between 52and 54% of the population. Generalizations about a society whichare not applicable to over half of the population are obviouslypointless.Toril Moi, Simone De Beauvoir: The Making of anIntellectual Woman (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1994)187.23Nevertheless, republican reforms did have a significant impacton the lives of women. Some fundamental contradictions betweenrepublican goals and limitations on the freedom and equality ofwomen resulted in small fissures in the patriarchal structure.Women from such diverse social and geographical backgrounds asSimone de Beauvoir (from the Parisian bourgeoisie) and EmilieCaries (from the Alpine peasantry) wedged themselves into thesefissures, creating new possibilities for themselves and for thoseto follow. In their life narratives, these women give evidence ofhow they negotiated the contradictions between their prescribedsocial roles and their personal aspirations. These demonstrateboth political resistance and compromise.Perhaps the most significant of such fissures, particularly inrelation to the lives of Carles and Beauvoir, were those producedby educational reform. In order to secure the new regime,republicans needed to secure popular backing for republicancandidates and hence for republican ideals. In rural communitiesthis would involve overthrowing long standing traditions. Theseincluded voting for the best known man in the district such as thelocal chatelain or other notable or alternatively, as was a commonpractice under the Second Empire, selling votes under the directionof the local mayor or sub-prefect. In the event of two competing,notable candidates, local feuds and family loyalties were graftedonto the debate or long-standing animosities between villages orI-li 2) C) !DONI—sr0ODH L:DtTJs) UT9)-. Cl)I-0H-CrC)C)—CD0)cf:j0CD8HHac-fCDHCD 2)0)Q-0CDHH-Cl)CDCr CD ciclCfH 0CD Cl) Cl)tICl)-CD H,H°LO HCDCDciI-F-CDC) 2)CDc-f2)H-l:-F-ooCl)I—s.0(f2)CrH-CDCDII HCj)Cl)(D,H-9)CDF-Cl)9)CDCl) CDF-ci<-Hc-1H9) H- H--CD‘p0 Its CDCrHCDHCDciC)HCrcio0CD9)9)1CDHc-f9)ciI-’lciI-9)c-fc-i-c-iC)‘p0HCDCD-2)Cl)Cl)Hc-fCl)HCDCDc-f9)Cl)0-fCl)cic-iC)c-f0CD09)0Hd-CDHI-aCD<Cl)•..m0-C!)09) c-Cr.CDfrH-0H-0INo‘-9)9)HI-Cl)C)<CDC)Cr9)‘p09)0I-hIts9)HCl)CDw9)cf•HmCDONot-H-I-hCD i,CDHI-Cl)0)H,CDI-h9)CDc-fHCl)H-MCD9)C)CDCr<H, 0çtCD9)I—5H-HO)HH-SISOCDI-i-CD‘ts9)CDC)CD-ciCDI•:ij(-f0XCD0CDc-fI-‘pCDI-’‘pc-fH-<I-0C)9)CD()ItsSccl)HCDCDCrciH-C)-Cl)<9)CDHH-CDSciCDCl)M0)cfc-f0CDCD9)9)ciCl)oSC)Li.CDCD0ci-ci0)l_Cl)H-0c-fc-fc-0CD9)<CDc-0Cr5CD0H,CDI—hCDCDH-HItsc-i-0II09)H-HCDC))S CDSCDCDC))9)SHHLO0CD01<:C)CD))‘pH,cic-0CrciH-CDC)CDc-fci-HCD9)H-CD-H-0H9)0Cr0H9)H0)CD0H,H-Cl)c-f50)CDH-9)I)—Cl)ciCr9) HCDHc-H9)MCl)H-‘pI_sCD‘pI_sCDCD0CDcic-i9)H09)CDCDHciCl)5ciH UiLOc_ia-lCDCDI-I][-H’pc-reCD Hpfl-.QD9)CDH-CD1-°CDQ.CDH2)‘pIO)CD1,19)HO)CrQCl)02-CrCl) C))LiH,CrciI—5“CDI_sCDciCrH-Q1-5 0)-Cr9)- CDCDCD Cl)H-HO)HCrHH-dHLOCrI_50LOH-CDHC)Cl)—02020-I-h02Cr0C)SCDCD0 01HCD0Cl) CrCrH-H-CD‘p9)H-C)Cr0I-502H-CrM CDC)CD9)SI--.I_s9)CDCDciCD 9;’C)Crci-CD CrCDCDCDCDCDCrCl)9)CDCr0)9)HCrH-9)HO)tYH-HCl)HiCDC))CDCrCDc-00H,CrI_h00)H9)C)Cr‘tS09)QCDl5HCl)9)Cl)CDHCr0)CD0H2CrC)I-5ci09)9)H-1-5CDC!)CrH-I_s‘p9) ciH-H-H,CrH-HC)09)9)CrHH‘p‘pCDH I-SciHCDCl) CD0) CDw‘pCrCD0‘p 9)C)c-fCDH9)0Cr0CDH-IH I-SCrCrCDci H- CD Cl)9) Cr 0CDH-HC)9) I-i0)CI)< 0)-<Cr CD05H,Cl)CDI-ICDciCDC)C)H9)9)CrHI-5H-H-00C) 9)1-50)9)‘pCDHCDC)001-5CDHCDH H-2)0Cri-1-5DH-Si-sC))H•Cl) 9) CI) Cr CD 0 Cr CD Cr H- 9) H H CD C)) 9) ci S 0 Cr CD I-s Cl) 0 H, c-f CD25normale supérieure for women at Sèvres. Even this, however, wasinsufficient and for certain subjects women teachers still neededuniversity training, which was accessible to them only with thebac. The Catholic school system initially filled this gap. In1908, the state schools were authorized to prepare women for thebac as well.7Both Emilie Caries and Simone de Beauvoir led lives whichbecame possible for women only through these reforms. Neither,however, led the life or fulfilled the functions specificallyenvisioned by those who had introduced the new regulations. Eachin her own way used her small advantages to make her own(unconventional) way in the world of early twentieth-centuryFrance. Both women’s life narratives negotiate the (traditional)generic boundary between memoir and autobiography and draw on otherstylistic strategies to develop important, non-traditional aspectsof their stories. In both narratives, the relationships betweenthe author and others are fundamental to the story of the self.Their personal narratives bear witness to their own resistance toand negotiation with the ideas in their community about women’ssexuality, marriage, and motherhood as well as formal politicalinstitutions.Emilie Caries (née Ailais) was born in 1900 in the mountainvillage of Val-des-Près, 7 kilometres from Briançon in the HautesAlpes. She was the fifth of six children of peasant parents andwas raised by her father after her mother was struck dead byMoi, 42-44.26lightning when Emilie was four. Although all family members workedat heavy manual labour from dawn until dusk (with the exception ofthe mandatory school hours and weekly mass), they were relativelywell off in comparison to others in their community. They werenever hungry and they lived in the only chateau in the village.8Nevertheless, prior to Emilie’s mother’s death, her father, JosephAllais (who did not know a trade) smuggled sheep across the Italianborder in order to earn income. After her death, he, like manyothers, stole wood from the communal forest.9As children, Emilie and her elder brother would get up at fivein the morning to do chores until school began and rush across townon their lunch break to tend flocks and haul water. Time forreading simply did not exist. The only entertainment afforded insuch communities were the winter evening veillées when severalfamilies would gather under one roof and tell stories to keep warmand pass the hours until bedtime.’°Education beyond the mandatory and free primary education wasvirtually out of reach of the peasant classes. In Emilie’s case,it was made possible by a scholarship from the state, her relativeproximity to the town of Briancon, and her father’s generosity ingiving up her labour during school hours at the urging of the8 According to Eugen Weber, “Village society ... distinguishedbetween an ordinary cottage and a chateau with an upper story anda weather vane on the roof....,’ Peasants 245.Emilie Carles, A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of aCountrywoman in Twentieth-Century France, trans. Avriel H.Goldberger (New York: Penguin Books, 1992) 22-23, and 67.10 Weber, Peasants 413.27departmental school inspector. Within the family, Emilie paiddearly for her privileges: the other children resented carrying theextra burden of work and her eldest sister, Rose-Marie, openlyfought against Emilie becoming a school teacher while she herselfwas destined to become a maid in a bourgeois household.” For allher hard work, Emilie’s aspirations could only be achieved at theexpense of those around her.In 1916, after the death of her elder sister and with both ofher brothers away at the front, Emilie was forced to abandon herstudies after earning her brevet; even the scholarship could notoffset the cost of her lost labour. In autumn 1918, she decided toresume her studies and left for Paris. She worked as an au pair ata private catholic school from 7am to 10pm, except for her ownclass time, in exchange for room, board, tuition and 50 francs permonth. Within a month of her arrival she learned of her elderbrother’s death in a German prisoner-of-war camp and returned toVal-des-Près to care for the family farm. She returned to theschool the following October and earned her brevet supe’rieur (whichnormally required three years of study) by the following spring.She passed with distinction and received a personal congratulationfrom the examiners: a remarkable accomplishment.’2 The followingyear she earned her teacher’s certificate, which entitled her toteach primary school.Emilie decided to continue her studies the following year,“ Carles, 59.12 Carles, 77.28working as a teacher of Italian for 400 francs per month at aprivate school and studying for a license at the Sorbonne. Hergoal was to become a “professor”; that is, a high school oruniversity teacher. Due to over work and exhaustion, however, shesoon fell ill with a pulmonary infection and was forced to returnto her native mountain air; the only real cure according to thedoctor. She worked as a primary school teacher in the departmentof Gap from 1923 until 1962.”Simone de Beauvoir was also a teacher, or more accurately inFrench terms, a professor. She was born in Paris in 1908, theelder of two daughters of an upper middle class family whosefortunes were on the decline. By the time she reached secondaryschool the family’s financial status had diminished to that of thepetty bourgeoisie.’4 Her father Georges was the second son of acomfortable middle class family. He was raised Catholic but was anatheist. Françoise de Beauvoir was a devout Catholic raised in awealthy bourgeois family whose fortunes were lost around the timeof her marriage. Under her direction, both Simone and her sisterHelene were educated in a private Catholic girls’ school in Parisfrom the time of their primary studies through to the completion oftheir bac. 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0Cl)CDCthI-CtCl)CtCtH-t)Ct0)CDCDhIH-CD0Cl)H,Cl)CDc_lhIhICD Cl)0 H,-H-CD hI•Cl) Ct 0 H- 0 hI Cl) H Ct Cl) CD CD Cl) Cl) Cl) Ct 0 H38the nature of her self. The self-revelation aimed at knowledge ofthe intimate interior self found in traditional autobiography seemsneither desirable nor necessary. Furthermore, her strategy revealsa great deal about the construction of identity for peasant womenin early twentieth century France. Such women did not exist asentirely autonomous individuals. To impose any other standard ofjudgement on Caries’s autobiography would amount to comparingapples and oranges.Self/other relationships also play a dominant role in Simonede Beauvoir’s autobiography. When she sat down to write her ownlife narrative, she did so with the philosophical conviction thather “self” was fundamentally no different than that of a man.While well-aware of many of the social constraints on women in apatriarchal society (she had already published The Second Sex), shedid not believe that this affected a woman’s ability to conform tothe aesthetic standards of her time.29 She worked to cast her lifestory in the form of the traditional (male) autobiography and hernarrative reflects the tensions between her considerable privilegein literary society and her relative marginalization in Frenchsociety as a woman.Following a fairly strict chronological order, Beauvoir’smemoir traces in careful detail the development of her intellectand identity and her development as a writer. Of the two volumesof most interest for this study (there are four), the first,entitled Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter is the more successful in29 Moi, 195.DiftCDC)CDftDiCl)ItiM,Cl)H,ftCDDlC)thHCD Cl)CD‘<0QCDft0ft0XC)DlhH-0HCl)XC)H-I-ft0fr’lH-H-CDH-DiCl)ftH-Dl11-<ftCDftCD<ftCDH-CD-‘Cl)H,0rt-DlIII-I‘tft0ftH(CDCCDCl)ftH-CDDiftCD(Cl)H-DlDlI-IC)DlftH-Cl)<H0CDHCD<H-Cl)ftHCD-H-0Cl)Ct,00-ftCl)0H-0H,IIHCl)0H-H-H--qp-H(Q-H-ftCD-CDDiQftDlHft0H,ftQCl)ftDlCDHH-DlDlCDt0H-H-CDCl)DlHI-CDI-hCl)DlftDlDlCDf’ift-0HH-DlftCl)HCl)DlCD00QC)CDftCDCDDl0<CDCDwOCDC)ftCl)Dl0H,DlH-0CDObi0CDCDCDCDHH-Cl)HCDHH,CDDli-H-H-MCD0ftDlftftftCDCDft000Cl)‘rIH•H<0H-ftftHcCDDlDl-CDHCD0oCl)CDCDCl)<HCD0CD-CDH-H-0DlHCDH-ftbiftDlH-ftftH,ftDlHDlCD0biCDftHDlHH-H,(QCDftH-CDftDlDlCDDlSDlCl)<-CDDiH-DltQCD0CDftCDCD01HCDCDft<HCDCl)Dl‘-0Dli00H-FH-H-CDDlC)0biH-ftH-HH--.0i-i,0cn0HCDCDH-1H-<Cl)ftftH,Cl)ftOCl)CDCDftH-ftCDCDI-hDlftft0Cl)CD000CDCDDlHCDH-H-CDCDH-ftHH-HHftDlDiH-Hk<DlCDHC)ft0C)CD—DlHHHHDlc’CDftftH-CDH-DlCD HCDlCl)H-0H,0DiHHDlftCDH,CDCQH,DlH-C)0HHQHft—CDCD—Cl)Dl—ftH-5H0DlftCDH-hHHH-DlH-Cl)I-hCDCDCDH,H-H-Dl0HHH0ftCl)Dl0Q<HH-ftH-CDCDHftCDH-DlCDDl0<55H-CDDlft-CDHC)HH-F-5C)H-0CDCDft0Q-0H-Cl)H-ftCDCDh000<H-H-C)CDH,H-CDhDlHDlCDHCl)ftDlDlDlft0DlLi.DlCl)HCDCD0C)H-Cl)H-CDH-H,ftCD<CDHDlo0CDftDlCl)H-ftDlC)CDCl)(QC)DlH-CDCl)H-0ftCDI-ftC)Q.Cl)ftCl)H,DlCDH-CDH-0ftDlftftDlH-DlCDCl)0H--00H,C)CDCC)H0Cl)HC‘Dl‘CD‘-CftftDlC)DlCDDlMCD0CDH-0Cl)<H-H,Dl5DlftDlH-ftHCl)LQC)I-iMftI-hH-CD0HCDftH-ft0Dlft(Q00QC0DlIiCDH-Cl)0L.JQ.Cl)ICDCl)H,H,Cl)CDH1Cl)Cl)-CDCl40her dramatic defeat in a debate with Sartre by the Medici fountainin the Luxembourg Gardens. Her tale of her development as a freeand wilful spirit ends with the death of her dearest friend, Zaza.Throughout the first volume, Simone’s will to independence isdeveloped through her friendship with Zaza and succeeds in inverserelationship to the latter’s growing helplessness in the face ofher family’s demands that she conform to her prescribed genderrole.32 Throughout the following volumes, Beauvoir the intellectualwoman, develops as a writer and thinker in constant relation toSartre.The dominance of this self/other paradigm in her memoirsspeaks volumes about the political implications of the dominantsocial structures on the lives of intellectual women in France. Inher “genealogy” of Beauvoir, Toni Moi subjects this relationshipto careful, historically situated, critical attention. Sheoutlines three important reasons for Beauvoir’s casting of herselfas Sartre’s second. First is the explanation suggested by Beauvoirherself. Under patriarchy, a man, who would already enjoy moreprivilege than a woman, would have to prove himself superior to herin order to be her equal in a relative sense.33 Second, the youngSimone was trained from early childhood to seek and receive praisefor being “interesting”; as she matures her formidable intellectbecomes less valuable to her as a “desiring heterosexual woman.”3432 Moi, 218.u Moi, 18—19.Moi, 22 and 23.HçlC)1(J)(/)))1CD(QC1C)Q.CDCDCDH-C)H-11CDCD11CrDiCDIIH‘10CD‘1CDCrc-r0C)CrH-DiHQDlH-CDH-1111H=H-CDCDHCD0CrCDi0I-CDCDCD0CD0CDDiCD0Di0C)Q.CD0CDCDH0-0H-H-CD 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CDH,ClciCl)0C)CDC)ClCDClCDH-Cl)Cl)CD0HH-C)CUH-‘ciCD(tCDCUCl)ciCDCD-Cl)C))H0CDClCUHH-H-HCD)Qt-r0)0hH-ciH,ClClCtCDCtc-i-Cl)CDH-Cl)CDCDC)P)CrCDCDi-QCDcC)lQCCICDClcil)CD!DCl)0ciH-HCl)ClCD0CDC)CD‘F—C)ClCDHCDHCDC)Cl)CD<1ClH-CDCl)Cl)ciCDH-Cl)CDH,HClHCtH-CDci-HCDCDCl))0C)ClCUw2-Cl)CD00CDCtCl)H-HCD<0 H,H-QH-l-l.<Cl)H-HCDçtCDCDCDci0Cl)ClU.CDCl)HCl)<CUH-CDCDCDH-CDHCDCUi—iCl)CDCUHCl)C)CDH0<l)H-ClCt)Cl)c-i-ciH-CDCDCD:ih,Cl)CrCDCDC)0Cl)H-CDCDCDCl)Cl)ClC)CtCUiH-CDHcCDOHCDCDCD--CDClCl)CrHHCl)CtCD‘rJ0CDCDHCU00NH--Cl)ClCUCDCl)CUH-CDCDci0QH-C)tciH,Cl)HCD<CUCl)C)CDc-i-HHCDHIciH(CrCDH,0H-CDCDCl)00H-H-hH-Cl00CDH-CUCl‘CDCl)Cl)0H-0ClCl)Cl)CDCl)Cl)CrC)H-HH-HCl)Cr0ClClCDCD-<-CDCDClClCl)-ciCl)Cl)CDCD-CDi-hL..)44be fortunate to marry someone she liked at all and doubly lucky tobe matched with someone who seemed to respect her mind.Many passages are devoted to her self-doubts concerning,longings for, and meditations about Jacques.38 By the time hereturned to Paris (with his new wife, whom he had married for herdowry), Beauvoir had begun the independent pursuit of social andintellectual pleasures and was, she says, merely irritated by hisbetrayal.39 Nevertheless, she does make the point of recounting howhe ruined himself and his family through speculation and waseventually thrown out by his wife for being a drunkard and awomanizerHer relationship with Sartre, however, struck a differentchord in her heart and her desire for a secure union (thetraditional mark of love) was only overcome by intellectualconviction. The argument for personal freedom and sexual libertywhich he presented to her was stronger than her attachment to herown emotional needs and she agreed to a sort of contract with him:for two years they would stay together and be monogamous,thereafter they would freely seek other sexual partners but theywould remain one because of their close intellectual affinity andtheir resolve to tell each other everything.4’38 See for example Beauvoir, Memoirs, 216-220, 242, 282, 288or 318.Beauvoir, Memoirs, 346-347.40 Beauvoir, Memoirs, 349.41 Simone de Beauvoir The Prime of Life trans. Peter Green(Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1962), 24.wJ CD Di 0 H H CD 0 H,H CDCD Dl 0 H H CD 0 H,H H,CD tuT1DiH-Q.CrI-CrCDI-’CDi-<HCDH-DiCDCDCD0CD0CDICDCDCDCDH-CDMCDF-—CDCDII0I-0CDCDC-)CDDiH-CrCDCD‘-<Cr0I-Dl0H-H-CDCDCDCDCrCr0HDiDiC)CDDiCDCrCDH-HH’CrHDlI-CDCDCDI—sl000DlH--rHH,0CDI-iH-Di•CrCDIiDi0CDH-H-lH-0‘0C)CDC)‘—aCrHDiQH-H,CDH-CD-.CD(QCrCD0CDj—CDF-CDH0HCDHC)Di-H-Dl<CDDl0C0CrtiCDH-CD<CDCD0DiH0CrCDDiDiCDci H-CDHCrCrZ5HH-HDiCrC)CDDlCDDiH-D)DiCD0CD00CDCD0CDCD0HDiCDCD0HCrHH-CrDi0•CrHH0HDiCDDiDiH,CrQH,CDDi-rDiH-H,DiC)CDDiHHCD-.rJCDH,CDCrCD-0H0Di-rH,i—iH-<k<CrCDH-pH,0CDH-H,H-HfrH-CrCDCDcrCr0piCDCDCrHDi0DiDiCDCDHi—CDDiHHCDCDH-CDQ-CD0H0HCrH,DiDiCD-CDCDH,DiHH,CDCrCr><CDH-CDCDrrHCDHCDCDi-DiCDCD0CDCDCrDiCDDiCDCDCrCrH-CDCD0CDHCD-DiDlCDHHDiCDDiCDCDCrDixI-Cr0DiI-fr’0-jCDDiCrCDH-H-H,H-Q-CDDiCDDic-I-•-C)0ICDC)CrCD0DiH-cpCDH-Cr0CDC)HCr0CD0Di0CDCDHCDCDC)-DiCDCDCDCrCDH-CDH,H,H’CDIIH-Cr-CDDiHCD0CDCDCDiI-0CDCDCrCDCrCrCDDiDiDi0Di‘CDH,0CDC)Cr-CDH-çr00CDDiCD•-CDDiCD‘CDCDC)0HHHHCD0CDDiH,CDCrI-DiCDI-H,CDCDCDH-CDCD0H-CDHCDHDiCDH,Q-CDDiCDCr0(CDH-Cr-CDCDCDH-H,Cr-DiCDDiHCDCDCDH-DiH-CDHCDH,CDCDCDDiH’,CDCrDiDiDiHHDiCrH-HQCDDiH-HCrH,H-H,DiDiDiCDDiCrCDHCD<CDti0DiCDCDCDCDCDCDDiCrCDCD0H-01iCDDiCDDiCrH-Cr0H-CrCDDiCDCDCr<1DiH-HCD0H,CrDiCDi-CD0Q.H-Di0CDCrCDCD<QH-H-CrCDH CDH-DiCrCD0Di0i—s0H-CrH,H-CDCrCDDiCDH-00Di-DiCrH0CDH—k<—I-QCDI-DiH,CDH,CDCDHCDCDfr<UI46autobiography she denounces the arranged marriages, which alliedfamilies and consolidated property, prevalent in her community.Usually the men arranged everything without consulting anyone.When they met at fairs, they talked about business, theytalked about the future. Sacks of oats, breeding hogs,shearing sheep, arranging marriages were all alike -everything got tossed into the same bag.“Say, you have a girl at home, I’ve got a son - why don’twe marry them off? I’ve got a. farmhouse, you’ve got the land.So if it’s all right with you, let’s draw up a contract.”That’s what they said; then they drank on it, shookhands, and the deal was made.For men and women alike, but above all for women, liveswere broken by this custom.44Although neither the man nor the woman had control over themaking of the match, once it was sealed, he gained control over herbody, her property and her life. In story after story, Cariesrecounts the horrendous fates of many women, beaten to the point ofdeath or madness, or forever separated from their true love, bythis age old tradition. By the time she comes to the story of herown marriage, the reader is well aware of her reasoning andresolution on this point.In 1927, she fell in love with Jean Carles, a worker from theMidi. A painter by trade when he arrived in Val-des-Près to askher father for her hand, he immediately joined in with the haying,prepared a delicious meal for the family and later transformed theold chateau with whitewash and hand painted frescoes. Animositybetween the peasant class and the working class, however, ran deepand although her father liked Jean, his decision was no. Heinstructed his daughter to make instead a match with a peasant boyH Caries, 8.47with property.45Emilie rebelled, making use of all her arguments about thevalue of the man, the importance of love, and the dreadful fate ofmarriages of alliance. She concluded by telling her father that hewould agree or he would lose her.46 Unlike many peasant women shewas not wholly reliant on her father and his property; she had asmall bit of independence as a school teacher and in this case sheused it to assert her will. Her father capitulated and shecontinued the fight against the rest of her family clan on the samegrounds. She also refused to draw up the traditional marriagecontract in which the worldly possessions of each were listed. Todo so would have been humiliating to Jean who owned nothing andwould have exposed his debts to her family. Marriage, arguesEmilie, is about sharing and wealth is about something far greaterthan property:Jean was authentic wealth, the only kind I had always wantedand never had. A head full of dreams, a smile laden withpromises, a heart heavy with the goodness of the earth, suchwas the wealth offered and given me.47In many ways, she had broken free from the fate prescribed forpeasant women in her society. As a school teacher she was aprominent person and her successful resistance to tradition andrejection of accepted values could not go unnoticed.To a certain degree, the struggles of both Caries and BeauvoirCaries, 153-155.46 Caries, 155.Caries, 158.uCCtI()C)C)CDCDci)l)))t- HHH<CDCDCDo0Cl)Cl)Cl)H-H-——I-I-SSHU)—]H‘-ci‘ciU)MI-F-a-H SCDCDo0HiHi-‘I:-’H-HHiHiDDU,c U)0ci)CrCl)‘t3tl-HiI-CrCl)C)QCrMi0CDci)0CDCD0CDCDCDCDCD0H-0MiMl-hHiH1<CD1CQXCDC)C)HCrH-CDH-CrCl)CDCD‘<CDCrCl)0CDH-Cl)Cl)lCDl-’CDCDHH(QHCDQ-çrCDH-l-CD0HNCDCDHCDHQHCl)QCl)<I-‘<Cl)gCl)H-gCDHH-CD0Cl)CrCl)HCDCl)0HCl)Cl)0CDCrCDHCl)C)CDH-CrCrCD<CrH-WH0H-<HCDI-C)CDCD<HtH-ci)Cl)CD0HiCl)SCDH0CD0c-r0l-H-CD00CrM<CDHiHHH-H0<-LflHCDH-CrCDCrCr0C(Q0ci.’Z’C)Cl)CDCDHl-’CD.‘CD-Cl)ci)CDCD,CDHi-.HiCl)Cl)Cl)CDCDci)HCrCrCl)H-H-CDCrC)IH-SCDHHCDCrCDCDCDCrjCDCDCDHCl)CDCDH-CDH-I-HC)Cl)H-Cl)Cl)CDCl)-,çtCD.‘CDCDHiH-HCDCl)CDCl)CD0CD‘rJCDci’HiCl)HMiCrCD0CroCrCDct0CDQCDCrCl)CDCDXCDCl)HCDCrCrCl)Qci)H-CDCDciiCDCDC)-CDCDCl)CtCDCl)ci)HCDH0ç-tCrCr0C)CrCtHci)CrHiH-CDCD CtCrCDCrH-CD0Cl)QCDCrHCl)CtCDCDCl)Cl)QCDCD0CDHHH-HH-CDC)CDci)CtCDH-CDCDH-CDH-0Cl)H-CDCDCDHiH-CDCrCD‘<‘<CrCDccCDCrci)-HHCr0Cl)CDCl)C)CDCrCDCrCrC)CrHQHOCrCDtJ0CDCl)H-H-0CDHi-CDCl)CDH0Cr<0CDCl)CDHCrCD0Cl)CDCrCl)H-Qci)CrH-ci)Cl)HHiCD‘0C)<H-i-CD0CD-H-HHiCDHiCrZHCtCDCDHH-HCD‘—.‘•CDCl)CrQC)C)CDci)CDCrCl)CrCrCDCrCDH-0CrCD0HiC)CDCDci.’HiCl)CDH.l.QCDci)C)H-Cl)ci)CDCt00CDCl)Q.Q.H-CrCD<H-CrZH-H-CDHCrCrH-0ci)CDci)5(QLQlci)CDHCl)Cl)HCrCD0l-CDHl-ci)C)-l-0CDCDCDQ“<.Cl)CDCDCDCDICDCl)H5CrCDCDQ.<49One might expect that the author of The Second Sex would havedevoted considerable space in her autobiography to the developmentof her own sexuality. In her theoretical work on women, she arguedthat the repression of women’s sexuality was an important elementof the oppression of women under patriarchy. As a woman writing inthe 1950s, however, the subject of her own sexuality is self-censored. The society for which she wrote would have certainlymisunderstood and sensationalized her sexual life; her authority asan intellectual woman would have been compromised. In this way,the memoir itself is misleading, presenting as platonicrelationships that were actually sexual. Thus her fondness forSartre’s student Jacques Bost and her screaming matches andemotional breaks with her own former student, Nathalie Sorokine,seem somewhat odd.53 The politics of women’s sexuality in Francein the 1950s is therefore reflected in these compromises inBeauvoir’s text.Beauvoir is unequivocal about her attitude towards children:she does not particularly like them, she did not want them, and hadfelt no loss at the prospect of not having them. The value placedon childbearing by her Catholic friends bewildered her; thus whenZaza claimed that having nine children was “just as good” aswriting books, the teenage Simone was baffled. In a society whichtrained women to accept their life role as wives and mothers asnatural and necessary, Beauvoir’s decision not to have childrentakes on the significance of political resistance. She refused herMoi, 232.50socialization.Caries, on the other hand, adored children and before hermarriage even considered having one without a husband. Two factorsdissuaded her: first, as an unwed mother she would lose her job andbe forced back into a situation of dependence on her father;second, she read a popular novel about an unwed mother and wasdissuaded by the suffering which appeared to be brought upon thechild.When she married Jean Caries, she was delighted that she wouldbe able to have children of her own. Yet when the state finallystripped away the parental rights of her younger sister’s husband-not for trying to burn down the house with his wife and children,but for exposing himself in public - she gladly took in hersister’s four children despite the financial strain.54 (Her sisterhad been committed to a psychiatric hospital by her abusivehusband.)55 Children - not necessarily one’s own - are valued byCarles. She spent her entire pay cheque providing for her wards.When she was reproached by a cousin for spending money on hersister’s children that she could have spent on her own, shedefended her decision by arguing that her children’s basic materialneeds were being met.56 This shift in attitude from children asproperty to children as people with needs and rights was animportant political resistance to the dominant social view ofCarles, 152.Carles, 122.56 Carles, 173.(n(_)0 cs)h HHCDCDJJU,JU,ortCl)I—sflHC?C?C)0C?H-CD00CDCDl)JCl)0HH-Cr<H-XCDHC)<Cl)JfrQ<CtCDQ-HCDCl)CDDQ.H0CDpiCDCDi—iI-QCD‘-CDH-CDI-HCrC)CDi(Q-QQCrrtCl)‘jhCDCrCDC?0pCl)Cl)CH-HCl)‘<CDCDH)CDH-CDH-H-0QCDCDCl)lCDc-rCDi-CDH1-‘CDCDCl)Cl)H--1-Cl)Cri-CDC?Cr‘tIti-CDMQ-iCr0CDCl)C?piCD<HCDCDCDH0CD0CDCrC)H0><CDCDH‘H-F-CrHPCr0CrCDCl)H-CD-0Cl)çtHH-0HCD0CDCrC?CflH-CrCrCl)CrCDHCDCDoCDCl)PCl)C?H-0Cl)CDCrCD‘zJ‘<HCDHCDHCDpiHCDCl)Cl)CD1CDCl)C?H-Cl)—0CDCr0‘-1CDCDpjCl)CrHHH-Cl)Cl)CDCDHCDH0CDCDHHCl)C?C?CDH-,Q-Cl)H‘TiCDCD0‘-<)HCDH-CrCDCDHlCl)Cfg‘-<H<01Cl)Cl)CDC?<HCDH-‘ciCDCrHCDCDCrCc)pi)C)‘CDCD-CD00“<H-H-9C))Cl)CDCD0piCDCDCrHHCDlCrH-CrCrCrH--H-CDC) H-CDHC)CrCDH-CDCc)QCDCDCl)C?HCl)H-Cl)CDCrHiCDH-Ct)C?H-C?0<CDCl)CDCDC)CDQ()Cr:;-c-rC?-.Cr-iCD0H-Cr-Cl)Cl)Cl)C?0Cl)‘CDCDCD-CDpiCuCDCrCl)CDCf0C))Cl)CD.CDCl)CD0H-CDCrH0CrCD-OC))LjC))CDC.QHC?C?C?C?Cl)CrHIjCDCtCC)‘-i-CDQCl)C)CDH-CrCDH-CD‘TiHCl)0.-Cl)0Cl)l-H0‘0Cl)C?C?CrH-HCDHCl)CDC)CrHCrCl)Cl)c)l-0CD‘ci 0HH-oCDCDH-oCrCDCDC?l-Cl)-CDCDCDCDo2CDC))H-f-i-C?H-CDCrH-Cl)Cl)0CrC)Crg<CrCc)Cl)HC?QHCDcto0H-0CDH-tiH-C)CrCl)0CrCr0<CDCrC))CDC))C)CrH-CDH-CDH-CD‘5CDCDQC))C)HC))CDCu0CDCDH-H-I-ICD-tiCDCDCDC))CDH-CDC))CDC)C))HCDCrCDICDHC))hCDC))HH0C)00CDIHC))C))‘TiCrC))<C))Ti’CDC))0C))C))0H-HC)H‘<H-CrCDCDC)HCDCrCDI-’C?CDU,Cr‘-<Q<CDCr0-C?Q.-<CDCDc)k<CDHc)C)iC)CDCl)rrC?100C?(irrC?H-C?0çt0i-ICDJX<0H,Lfl(CF—iCDH-IQCD)CDH-CDCl)CDCD0H-0C?P)CDHC?IIH-i-j-C)QCl)C?C)H-H-)C)IC)C)H-H,C)-r0CDC)(-r))Q(l)flQ)iIC)‘t5IIH-Cl)0HCDCDH-P)CDCDHLi.0ç-rCDH-CDH-H-0CDh’I-H-0DHC?H-Cl)CDCDZrrC?CDC?0CDCflH‘<H-H-H-.C)H-)C)H-c-rCD(J0Cl)0Cl)CDCl)Cl)C)cnCl)CDCDH-HC?HH-H-Cl)C?H,I-CDHC?i‘1<C?0CDC)P)Cl)0HH-HH-HHH,)CDHC?C?CDH1<Cl)H-CDCD’H-ç-tCDH(C)C)H--<(C)C?CDQCl)IINCD‘iPiCDCD00Cl)CD”CDI))H-C)QC?CDCl)C?CD0C?C?-<HH-QH-C?-i-t,CDHc-rH-0H-Cl)H-H-Cl)Cl)H,H0CDPi0r-C)(C)H,0—-0CDCDMHIIHCDCD-C?C?H,CH-CDH-•l))I-C?QC?•‘C)CDH0I)H,j00C?H-0<CDj0HQj)CD0HH,r0H-CDCDQC)•fr’lH0CDCDH-CDCDC?HH-H-H-NCDCl)CDCl)CDH,-ci-0CD1HHH-iH-H,CDC)0Q-0H,C?HHCl)I-’CDi-H-CDHipCDHC?Cl)CDCl)rH-H-H-QHl)H-C?0Cr)I-ICl)CDH-CDipC?-H,CD0CDH-H,C)C?C?HCDCDMiH-CDC?H-.Hl)Cl)Cl)CDC?Cl)C?H-H-0CDCl)C?H-CDH-CDC?C?CD0CD00)CDC?H-CDC?CDCDF-H--lCDC)CDCl)C)-H-H,‘CDC?HC?“<CDiClC?C?C?CDH-C)0H-H-CDo-ZCDH-CD—CDCD‘Cl)CDCDCD0IC?CDC?Cl)•Cl)CD0C?CDCl)l—I-“<HHH-C?HCl)?dC?H-H-CDPCl)CD0C?00CDCDCDH0H-CDC?0Cl)0CDH-Cl)C?0c-rCDCDCl)C?H-<CDHCDCDCl)Cl)CDC?H-MiCrCDhHI-r-rC?H-H-CDCDH-Cl)CDH-C?H-CDdH,C?CD(C)H-Cl)H-CDCD-CDH-CDH-H--CDHC?C?C)HCDCl)CD0Cl)CDMiC)oH-H--C?CD11‘‘CD0cr--CDHCl)C?H-piHCD:;-C)Cl)C?0CD0CDC?H“CDI—sH-Cl)CDCl)H,C?00ci-IC?C)C?Cl)-P)C?ICD0HCl)HCDC)<IC?C)CD1C?H-00CDCDC?H-CDH-C?CD(C)CD-C?Cl0(C)P)0H-CD0Cl)Cl)H,C?C?ipCD‘-I-I-IC?-0ICD0C?H,CDC?03Cl)CD0C?CDl-’0CDCDCDC)HCDH-C))C))H-CD-CD0Q(C)00I-C))UiCD‘-<I-CDC?Cl)ZQCDCl)Cl)Cl)H,MiC)Cl)I<C?I—)53occupation. Significantly, the only formal political movementBeauvoir ever joined was the women’s movement. She joined in 1971,convinced that the promotion of the cause of women could not waiton, and furthermore might not be achieved by, class revolution.Only in this form did she come to trust formal politicalengagement.The life narratives of Emilie Carles and Simone de Beauvoirbear witness to many other forms of political events in both theirown lives and those around them. The examples studied here havebeen selected for their potential strength in demonstrating thepolitical nature of women’s personal resistance and acceptance ofthe ideas in their society. The politics of a society and the waysin which power is resisted cannot be studied solely through a focuson the traditional political elites and the formal structuresharnessed to measure the agreement (acquiesence) of “the people.”In their lives and in their creation of their texts, both Cariesand Beauvoir negotiated the boundaries of women’s identity andplace in twentieth century French society. The myth of “politicalmemoir” serves only to devalue the politics in the personalnarratives of those who could not or would not join the formalpolitical elite.çDHI-C)I-i çl)0rt-rH-0<CDH,CDH,0H,CDH,CDHrtctH-CC)H-02 c-cCDCDH <Q CDCD00CDCD0)02cc0 Hc-H-(1-c-cCDH-H-0C) Cl)çl)00H,H,çi-c-ridccP)0C))ccC))C))dd0CD0ICI)0DCDl—CDCDd1F-i-0)0(1)-ccCDCDCDHCl-H-CDci-CDCDCDCDC))C)H,0000HF-.i-C))<02Hc-ccc0I-ci-‘ZQCDHHCDCDHH-CDH-C)C))C))H-hCDHHC)0-CDci.c-cc-cC)0)CDCDCDCDCDH-1c-i-HHCD(12CDCDLJQCDccccI-0CDCDClccC))ccCD01)MC’HC))CDIICD‘•jQ•(1)ccH-HCDH-CDCl0CDCDQHCD-i-C))C))H-ClC))-1<Cl)Cl)c-i-0C)C)HClHHH-CDH,CDH-C))CDH-0C)H-c-cI-ccCDCDCDc-cCD:i.—H,Q1ccH-0c-i-H-CDH-H—ClHH-HCDHHCDc-i-H0-rCDc-i-HhCD0C)CD0CDHc-i-c-i-c-i-><H-ccCl)CDCDH,H02ccCDCD‘H,c-cCDH-C))‘t0Wc-CDCDfl0Hc-i-i-°H00I-i0.C))30CDC))<C))Hc-i-C)H-ci-CDHC))H,H-c-cHH11H-ccC)H-i-i]frgH-CD‘<C)-<CDl-CDCDCDI-CDCDC))CD02H,(1)CDC))CDCDCDC))c-i-C))CD0c-i-XCl)CD1j-0C)0ciCDC))00cc0H-H,c-i-0H,C))CDCDc-icr0ccCDCDH,c-i-c-i-c-iCD Hd‘t00CD0CDClCD.H,I-’C))CDH-CDHCDCDHCDCDH-HIc-ci-H-(1),a‘-c-i-CDH-CDCDCDc-i-HCD0H-H,CDccCDCDçi-ccHH-Hc-i-CD(1)ClHH-CDCDCDC))H-CDCiHH—-c-i-c-i-ClC))I-’‘10Hcid0H-HCD<HO0CDC)C))C)CDH-CD0H-CDClCDUiH-CDH,CDH-CDCDfl0CDCDMc-iClHH-IC)QccH-H-CDCDCDCDC))H--DC))HCD0CD0HCDCl0ClCDCDCDCDH-0ClccH<C)HC)H-CDCDINMF-Q.CDIHc-iHC)0ccCD0Cl)CDCDCDC))-0C))I-ICDH,<1C))Hc-i-HpiC)C)H-Cl0‘-0H-C))Hcc0c-i-c-i-c-iCDCl)H-0H-C-ipiccCD00C))h0)(QC))ICD00)QCDCDCDCDH,0)Ci)CD C)) H H- ccc-iC))CD I-H-H-CDHCDCD CD Cl 0 H- C) CDU,QH,H0ItihH 0Cr2) --CDH oCD2)t-C)QoH H,H,HHC)2) CD CD2)C) CD CDH HCDC)‘1o2)CD2)H H CDCDCDCD Cr c-i-oMoo0Cr0)CDH— H-Cl)I—tIJIHCrHH CD C) CD Cr CD 2) Cr H 0 H CD H 2) CD C) CD C) CD CJ)C-) H- CD Cr H H, H CDCrCDCDMCDCD2)OCD1-CD’C)C)FlCDr-lCDCDCl)2)HCD0QI-CrCr1:-ICDF<CDF-QCDjQIICDL.i21CDei-•c-i-3H.CDI)HH-0Q-2)‘iHO2)CCDFlCr2CDH-0HCD‘d-ijCDFl2)H C)H2)0—H-::HCDPJL0CDCDHHCDHc;-)H,0HI2)HQHH-2)CD-DI1I-CDHCrCD<0L’JCr(PCs)HC)FlCDCrti<HFl0FlCDH2)CDCD0$)$1H-CD&CD2)H-0<H-2)CDCDFlCD0CDI-ICDCD2)HHCDCDCD0<CrH-(PCrtiCl)(Cl•HH-HCDCrH-H-CD0CDCDCDCD-.(_2)Q2)Fl0<H-CD2)C)CDCl)(P(P<CrH,CD-H0CDCDCDCDCDCDCDH-CDFlCrCrCDCD0H,CDHH,i-CDH-DFltiCDHWFlCD-’CDHCrH00.<CD0i--st-jHHaCDFl‘-<(P-,CDCD 2)02)H-H-0CDHH,CD-CDdH-H2)HFl“CDCDCrCDCrCr-oH-C)QH-CDH-CrC)C)CDH-g-2)02)2)H,HFlFlCDH-CDC)QCDCrCDCDCs)l-0HCl)CDH-<H-Q-3H-0IH-H-CrCD2)CDCrQ-H00‘tiQQi-CrFl‘CD‘02)(PCD2)Cl)H-LLH,C)3CD(-h)C)HaoH-ti0CD2)CDi-’)CD()HH,CDFlCDCr—-rC))-HQCD0<Cr(/)H--H,FlCDH-0)o0CDCDHFli-2)2) CDCDCD0H-CDCDCrCD,CDH,H,CrHCD‘tik<CDC)<,Cr-CD0CDH-CrCrCDCrCDl))FlH-CDFlCrHCrH(1)CrC)0Cl)Cr2)CDH-0H-CDCr2)H,Ql))CrCr2)CDFlCrCDCDCrHCDH-H-l))CDCrQ-I-CDCrCrHCDCl)i--sCDCr2)()0CD2)0CrH,FloH-ti2)—,-CD2)CD0)H-FlFlH-H-CDCDH,CDHCrHCrDCrCr0CDCrCrHLC)H-H-2)2)CDCr0CDCDCrCDH-H0CDQQCD0(PCD-CrCl)FlH-H-H-CrCr2)CrCrFl2)H-CDMHH,i-H<CDH-H0H-CDCDCrH-FlH•.CDCr,CDCD$1CDCDCr0)CDdCr2)FlCDCr0CDH-CDH,Cr02)0HCD,CDC)CrH-FlCDHCl)2)<CDHFlCDjH0$)QHCD0Cr2)H,H-H-0<H-H,Fl0HFlCDCD2)H-‘-<H,0CDCrl))CDMCrPH-CDH-H-02)H-C)0H-0(PHC)2)(P0Cl)H(P0l-C)CDFlJCDCrHCD‘<CDH,H,0 Fl CD H (P CD CD Fl H C) CD CD CD Fl CD56François-Poncet was a graduate of the prestigious Ecolenormale supérieure and had passed the competitive agrégation examin economics.2 He was fluent in German and familiar with Germanculture. The Quai hoped that his prestige, talents and experienceas under-secretary of state for national economy in thenegotiations undertaken in Paris and London in 1931 with the GermanChancellor, Heinrich BrQnig, would enable him to work with theGerman government to find an acceptable solution to the debtrepayment problem, thereby alleviating the German economic crisisand ultimately the right-wing, nationalist agitation.3Of the two narratives in question, De Staline a Hitler byCoulondre conforms more strictly to the generic specifications ofmemoir writing. He writes about his own actions and events towhich he was a personal witness. Significant developments ininternational relations such as the Munich Accords, in which heplayed no part, are reported from the distance of an Ambassadoronly partially informed by telegram by his own government.4 By hisown admission, the opinions which he gives of such events arepersonal and largely speculative.5Unlike the women studied in chapter two, Coulondre appears to2 See above, chapter two, for an explanation of thecompetitive agrégation exams.Baillou, 416; and André Francois-Poncet Une Ainbassade aBerlin (Paris: Flarnrnarion, 1946) 23.Robert Coulondre De Staline a Hitler (Paris: LibrairieHachette, 1950) 154—155.Coulondre, 8.CDH-HIl:i$)2)—)o(Dc-iCTh oHQ-Ilai.oCDIlIICDL,J2)HHCD.-CD2)U)c-ioQOCD•H,c-1$)‘D0=k<i.O(DHHXCDIQCDH-IICDH-c-r-CD)c-i-CDc-i-CD2)H°c-i-<H-H-H.00CDI--t,ci-HH,<CDHCDIlCDCDc-i-IlCDc-i-cH-2)CDc-i-•QCD0c-i-IlIlCDH-H-2)Hc-rQ.CDi—c-i-CDCDCDIIHIlc-i--CDCDCD2)0oH,CDCDHH,H-H-2)c-ic-i-C)Q_H-H-CDC)$)H-2)Hc-i-HCDCDCDc-i-H-CDH-CDHc-i-cCDc-i-H-QH-0CDHH,H0CDH,CD H-C)c-i-c-i-oCDCDci-CDCDC2)i-I,c-i-CD02)‘1IIi-i-Hc-iH-CDc-i0CDC)CDCDO-CD2)CDHCD0IlOi‘dH,H-CDCDpIl CD 02)i0H‘—‘2)ccHHi-hk<02))C))(c-i-Q—Q-2)HLJ.flCD0CDC)C)‘.OCDCD-.ci-IlH-•CDCD°HCD2)2)IlI-H-•CDCDCD c-i-CD CDH-HJ)CDCD’-CDCDi (DCDCDH,Ilc-i-CDH-IlCic-i-2)1_•IloCD(CCD-.<CDCDc-i-flCDCDQ.2?CDc-ic-i-H-CD-CDCD0ci-CDH-2)CD—ci-c-i-HH-CD’0QHHHCDCDIlHCDIlCDCDCDHCD2)2)C)2)(0><(CDCDCDH.CD-.-QCDCDCDH-CDoc-iCD2)CDOLiCD--CDH-Il02j><0CDH-<IyJCDCD-.0‘tHci-C)CDHCDCDCDa-NC)HCDCD2)2)’-CDH H-Il2)I-hCDH-CDCD-CDci 2)c-i-c-i-HCDCD H-02)IIHH-<H-CDc-i-ci-2)H-C)CDc-i-C) c-i Hc-i-oc-i CDIlCDCDHCD2)Il CD H-CD0CDCDc-iC)Hci-•“C)H,2)CDHHCDCD0 H,c-i-CDCD(cccCDH-CDCD II2)H-H-C)CDQ—1C_)‘TJ()C)H-oIl0002)ci-HHHCDH-oC)0Ilci“ICDCDHQIl•H-CDC)Il2)CDIlc-i-2)CDci-CDH‘0-‘H-0IlH-2)I-h2)CDIl0c-i-Ic-i-c-iH-‘d<H-CDCDCDH-IlCDCDc-i-c-i-H2)CDc-i-I-2)2)CD11CDH,CDQ.c-i-2)IICDCDz2)c-i-‘CDrrjc-i-0HCDH-CDCDIl2)<CDDCD2) CDc-i-CDci-CD0H-Il0CDCDH-t’CD0•-‘-)Il0IlHCDc-i-CDIl2)Q-CDc-.0c-i-CDCD0CDc-i-2)H,CDCDH-H-CDQc-i-$1c-i-CD‘-<H-CD2)2)CDcr2)’c-i-c-i-IlCDCD-CDIl0“<CDCDIICD2)ci-IlCDCD2)(Qci-Hc-i-HH-2)CDH-CDCDc-i-c-iH-2)0c-i-c-i-H,c-i-H-c-i-H-CD0DtjCDk<2)CDCDQc-i-CDc-i-H,Hc-i-CD2)0Hci-1cc2)0CD2)CDH,CD•.o0IlCDH-Il 2)c-i-c-i-CDCDIl CD2)CDCDc-i- CD2) I-hHC) ci-c-i-H 0H-CD2) Il2)-CDCDC)Il CD 0CD2)IlHCDCD 2)<H 2)CDc-i-IlH-CDo0CD2) H0 H,0c-i-H H-CDci H-H-C) 2) H2) C)<c-i-H-CD0 H,CD0 2) Il H- CD CD CD CD (p H CD H-CD Il CD H,2) C) CD H- c-i 2) H- CD C) H 2) H CD IlH-H CD CD H-H H CD Il CD 0 2) H H H CD c-i CD Il CD 2) CD Il c-i Il 0 (p c-i H-CD H-H (p Il H 2) (p CDrttiH-c1CDH-00C)Cr)tiH-I-CDCDçtDc-ICDCDH-frCDCDH,CDICD0C)C)CDH-CD-CDCDCDtiLJI-CD0<CIIF—i0CrXCDCDCDCDCDCrCl)hH-00Q.H-H-CrCrH,I-H-C)CD0HCDCr000piCDCDCDCIflfrCCDH-HCr0H-HCDCrCDLi<frH-H-CDCDCD00CD’-CDC)QI—hH-CDhCDHH-CrQCDCDC)H-CDCDCDH-ci-C)H-C)CDC)CDc-0LjH,H<C)H-H-H,H,piC)CDH-CDcc-I-H-CDC)b—iClCD.H-0CD’CD0I-IMCDH-CDIQCrc-s-H-CDpiH,çr HCDH-QC)CD°<c-I-H-HCDQCDCrQ0MCDH-CI)C)CrCI-H0CrHH-H,QH-CDCD0QH-)CDCDCDtQ(QhCDCDCDCDCrH-CDCDtHCDCrCDH,pCDH-CDCDdCDCDCDCD“<C)HCr2HH-CDCDCDCrQ0CrH-HCDCrH-CrCrCDCDCrp1CrHCDCrCrp1CDCDCDC)CDpQ-CrH--CD-CDHCD)CDc-I-c-i-0H-H-C)H-HCDçuLi.CDH,CD‘CrCr-H-H0CDCDiCDCDIH-H,CDCDQ-i-C)CDH°CrH-CDCrCrCD0H-HH-CrCDC)CDtiCDH0CDc-iHICrCD—CrH-CDH-H-CDCD-<CII‘-<CrCDCrCrCD0CDl’iCDCII00H-H-CDCD0CDCDIICDDCDc-rtiCDCDCrCDc-v‘-H,H€tiCDCDCD’CDCDCDC)H-‘tiCDCDCDCDCD0CI)0CDCDH-CDH-CDCDCrpCrCDI--c-CDCDCDCrC)H-0CrCDCrCrCrH-<:CD<0CDCrCI-CDI-CDCI)<CDCDCD0H-CDCDCDHCDCDCDNH-CDHH-‘tiH-CDCDCDH,CrCDCI)i-CrCrCrCDCI-ClCDXCD’CDCDCDCDCDCDH-ClCrCDCDCDH<-CrCrC)CrHCD(CDCrCDCDHCDpCDH-CDCDH-0H-Cr0CDCr.CD0CrH-CDH-CDHCDCDCDCDIi0CDCDC)CD0Cl0‘<CDCDCrCDHH-HCDCDCDH,H,-CDCrH-HH-CrCI)CDHC)—ClCDCD1ClH-CDH-C)CrHCDIJCDCDHtQH-CDCDHCDCDCDc-fCD-J0CrCD0H-CDc-rCDCrCDHCDCDCD0CrCD(QCDCD00HI-hCDCD-CrHpiCrH-CDI-h00CDH-0H-CrH,C)CDCDCDg00CDi-H-H-CrM‘-ICDH,CDQH-H,CDCDCrH-CDCDCDCDCDC)CD0CrCII‘liCrHCDCDC)i-CrH-MCDCDCD0Cr00CDCDCDH-0CrCDCD0Cr0CDH-CDCDCD0ClC)CrCr0CrCDCDCrH-CI)CD‘H-0-‘<CrH-HHCDCDHCDH-0tiHQC)CDCI)HOCrH-CDCDH-CrCI)I-1<ClCDCrClCDCDCDCDCD0CDCrCDC)CDp)H-0HQCDHC)‘CDH-CDClC)0I-I‘<ClH-CDL.JCr300CDH-CrCDCDH0CrCDH,CrCD0CDHCD0CDHC)CDCDCDCrCDH-)CrH-H-LflCrCrCDCrQCrCDCDCrHCDCD0CDCD‘-ICDQ0C)CDCD59informateur, un intermédiare, un assistant, un exécutant, quin’a jarnais été consulté, quand furent prises les decisionscapitales et qui, par consequent, ne plaide pas pour sonsaint 8This passage marks the first appearance of the first person pronounin fifteen pages. The fourteen pages that follow this declarationare once again filled with analysis of the situation, arguing ineffect that the results of the Munich conference were essentiallya foregone conclusion and that the western democracies did not havethe power or the will to act. By claiming in the final line of thepassage that he does not need to excuse his actions he underlinesthe conclusion that he is demanding from his audience: that anadvisor is without real power and therefore without guilt orresponsibility.Both Coulondre’s and Francois-Poncet’s constructions ofauthorial voice and implicitly of self/other relationships areindicative of the enormous personal/political power these men heldin twentieth-century French society. Francois-Poncet is largelyabove “I” and exists as an entirely independent, authoritative andsupposedly objective voice. For Coulondre, the presentation of theauthorial “I” is uncomplicated: he assumes that who he was and howhe came to be in the position he was in requires no explanation.8 François-Poncet, 314. “I would like to relate now, thememories, impressions and ref lexions aroused and left in my mind bythe Munich Conference (29 September, 1938) . It is still a burningsubject. However, I do not think that my testimony is of the sortto poison it further. In any case, it is the testimony of a manwho, in this affair, was but a source of information, anintermediary, an assistant, an executor; a man who was neverconsulted when the main decisions were made and who, consequently,is not pleading for his soul.” (my translation)60He opens the narrative with the story of his mother bringing himthe telegram announcing his posting to Moscow while he was outhunting! He claims that he was “in no way prepared for [his] newfunctions” and that he knew “no more about the Union of SovietSocialist Republics, the USSR, than the man on the street.”9 Whilehe may not have had much specific preparation on the MoscowEmbassy, as a trained diplomat he was far from unprepared andcertainly far better equipped than the man on the street to accessand assimilate any information available. Such false levellingwould have hardly been deceptive for his French audience: as an?inbassador, he existed already in their minds as a culturalstereotype: well educated, extremely cultured, highly trained,white, male and upper middle class. Undoubtably, he was a far morecomplex individual than this, and the information about who is wasand where he came from that is not exposed would surely affect howwe read his testimony.More pernicious still is the very real possibility that inCoulondre’s mind, who he was in the world was of no importance; asa diplomat he would rise above the constraints of his ownperspective and represent the interests of France. He intimates asmuch when he tells the Soviet Foreign Minister, Litvinov, that heis above ideological prejudices and holds no firm opinion of theSoviet Union either way; he was merely interested in a practicalalliance which would benefit both nations.Je suis venu ici, dis-je en substance a Litvinov, sans aucuneCoulondre, 12. (my translation).(I)Hrr1)CDQ-((Clcrclo‘CDCDCD-0oDHH.Q<P(I)i-.F-jCl)-OHHH-H-CDCDCD0H-H-0CDCl)Yrr‘rr--noCl)HH0CD0CD(1)CDCD0CDH--00<HH-HçjCD00HCD0oQCDt(1(ClEHHCDC0Li.ftCD‘<CDç-1—o0H-0II-CDH-(-t’H0Q(flc1CDCDpU)CDH-CD0ctCDOHQH-<Q-CDi-HCDH-CDCDoo-jçCD(flç-l(Cl(DcCDoHHHr-v•CDHctH-‘)H-:u)CD0CDCD(fl0PCD(_coCDr(3CDHCDM,<LiCDC.QCDCD0CDCDHo=CDCD-.CDçiClCD•CDHH-H-r00HCDHM’0OCDMc-rH-CDCDCD0CD-.Q.0CDCH-<0CDjC-CClCDHçrH-0Cl)hIuCD.(ikCDH-0hIH-.00-H-c-t)pCDHH-HCDH-(ClO.HCCJ)HC1(ClCDHHCD(Cl..I<CDWH,0(Clc-tCD.(DhIHP)H-CClCDCD(j)HHhI1çrU)HQ-rc-rhI00CD0CDCD0flCD•CDçtl))CDCD(fl’0t—tCDç-tHçt.CD0r0.<H,H00-tCDHhICDHH0hIhIH-H=ç)P0CD<CDp(Cl—dU)U)HCCDH,;ftH-CD0)0CD<‘<hI00.H0CDrr-ftCDct0(ClCD,HctctCDH)CDU)HCD00-.U))CDH-HHhIH-cu:U•çtçioH,)U)<CDCD(jClhI0H,:30CDhIIHCD0‘hIU)H(Cl0H-))HQctOl)H,rtcrU)CDCD0rtCDhIç-r)<cttYH-H—Hçta0H,0CDH-Cr0c-I_(DU)QhIU)H U)j)U) hI CD-’CD—H-CDH-0crCD0>CD(Cl0)(Cl0CDcCJ)—tc--cUCiçtCDdrrCl)MlC)Cl)ç-ttiZrrc-rti0‘-IC)0HIl))00C)C)P)(l)çtHC)ti(I)P))NC1Cl)Cl)0C)H-CQHH-‘-<C)H-CDrrC)-ç-rI—iHCl)00Cl)ClCl)Cl)H-CCl)Cl)Cl)H-CDH Cl)HCl)OCl)H-0H-H0ClC)0ç-rCDCrC)•CDClCD(QCDCl)CDWMiH-H-C)CDHCDCDC)-ClH0H-Cl)CJ)<CDMCl)frHH-Cf•H-HCl)H-CrHClCDCDCDOCDCl)Cl)H-H-••HH-MlHH-CDH0ClCDCl)ACl)<H-0CDCDCDMlCrCDU)CDH-CDH-HHHCl)CD‘lClC)CDHQbdCl)CDCl)MlH-HCl)00c-rCDhH-Cl)HCDClClHClCDCtCl)c-1-C)CD-tijClCl)H-‘0Q-MlHCDH-c-i-CDClH-CtMlC)Cl)tiCDCDCDMlClHC)MlH-ClCfC)CtCl)CDCl)CDC)Ml:DH-C)Cr(Q0HCDH-ClCDH-H-QC)0H-0CDCDCl)CDCl-Cl00ClH-QCDOgCDgQijH-(ICDCDCl)H-CrI-ICl)CrWCHH-CD,Cl3Cl)Cl)Cl)ClC)CDw:wCDHCDC)Cl’CDClH-aHH-Cl)0<ctHwCl0MlH-Cl)ClCl)CDCDCDCDH0Q-C)Cl)Cl)Cf0H-CDMlClC)CDLQCCDCDCDCDCrClCDwCl)Cl)0CD‘tiCl))H-QCDCDClCDClH-I-ClH-Ml<HHr-CDgCDCDCl)CDCDH-0CDCDH-HCD0CDCl)0Cl)H-Cl)CDCrI-rCtH0CDCDClr-rH-hClCDCDVCDLJ.MCl)H-CD--.-CDwClCrV-ClCl)C)QH-ClHCDCl)ClCl)Cl)CDCrCl)H.CDCl‘-Cl—-CD0H-ClC)VOHQHQCrCD0CDCl)00Cl)H-H0VH-°HMlCD•C)H-CDClc-rH-l)HHCDrrCD-CDCrCDCDçfCDCDHHclCD0HCDCDClJ0CDACDCD?5IJCD<HCDCl)H-ClCl)CrHH-HCl)I-’ll))HACl)CD-CDHHClCl00HCl)CrttiCDH-0c—rClH-CDCDH-H-0ClCDCDH-Cl00H-H-HH-HI-ICl)H-CD0ClHC)HCDrCDQ-Cl))C))Cl)CrC))Cl)0CrMlCDi-MlCDa(Q•CD>CD0MliClCl) H-HClCDCllMlC)Cl)CD-rCD Cl)Cl)CDC)CD‘-<Cl-ClMlClCDCl)MlHCD0ClCI)CDClH>CDSCl)Cl<CDCl)HH-QCl0CD1ti(Q0Hl-H-ClVCl)CD0CD0H-MlClCDCDClCDQVCl)CDCl)CDCDCl)CDCDQC)Cl)—MltiC)Cl)<Hl-MlH-0wHCDClCDOHCDH-ClClClCl)Cl)CrCDZ0tiH-frCl)HC)H-0Cl)HQQCl0Cl)CDQ.Cl)Cl)ClClCDC)H-<Cl0HCrHH-Q’)CDCDCDCrCDIQClCDCD0<CDC)Cl)Mli-cQ0HCl)tJ63famille attablée prenant du poids a s’en nourrir.1’Coulondre succeeds in making the goals of the Popular Front lookabsurd. The comparison with the painting of Picasso is in factparticularly ingenious. By the time Coulondre was writing,Picasso’s work was being touted by intellectuals as brilliant andmeaningful. Those who did not appreciate it were/are disparaged aslacking vision and imagination. They are vindicated in this homageto realism. Socialist theory, it is suggested, would have theeffect of putting together elements that realistically cannot bebrought together and twisting bodies and material in impossibleways. The common accusation against left wing movements, in fact,is that the theories are idealist. Coulondre’s metaphor actuallywould work against all theory in as much as all theory is abstract,at least to a certain degree. If the word “ideal” is substitutedfor “abstract,” the meaning is entirely different. An idealistpainting has a much broader appeal and the family nourished on an“ideal” soup would do quite well.The reference to the housewife is also doubly loaded. Itconstructs the French nation as in need of practical care for theprovision of its basic needs. While the language of responsibility11 Coulondre, 14. “For my part, each time that I have thehonour to be received by him, at the end of only a short time Ionly wish to say, “Yes... yes... yes...” Only, -the odious andinevitable only! - only past the doorway the charm dissipates in anoften brutal contact with reality. Ah! if one could put intofashion abstract politics like Picasso has done for painting, itwould be otherwise. But France is a large house of which thePresident of the Counsel [the Premier] is the housekeeper and Icannot well see a mistress of a home serving an “abstract” soup,and I really cannot well see a family at their table gaining weightby eating it.” (my translation)64is employed, the message is one of dependence. Furthermore, amother is not elected; she exists in a defined role that issocially naturalized and deviance from that role is construed as aprelude to disaster. His metaphor relies on a general agreementthat a mother who thinks (abstractly) rather than simply followingtraditional practice will fail in her duties and starve her family.Women are insignificant figures in both Coulondre’s andFrançois-Poncet’s memoirs. Coulondre mentions his mother in hisintroductory paragraph in order to note her religious terror at theprospect of his assignment to the Soviet Union. The image is oneof the son leaving home to protect his mother (and womenfolk ingeneral) from an evil she can not really comprehend andirrationally fears. He mentions his wife when he talks about thedifficulty of getting language lessons for both of them duringtheir stay in Moscow. François-Poncet only mentions his wife inorder to underline the complete audacity of the German media: tostir up anti-French sentiment, they were even vilifying the wife ofan ambassador. In a valiant display of personal integrity,François-Poncet informs the German secretary of Foreign Affairsthat he will quit his post if the attacks are not stopped.’2Significantly, this is the only issue over which he threatens hiswithdrawal. Powerless to make anyone heed his warnings of the Nazithreat or to prevent any of the Nazi atrocities he abhors, he canstill protect his wife. In a metaphoric parallel to hisrelationship as protector of French interests in Germany in his12 François-Poncet, 30.65public life, he is able to fulfill his role as the chivalrousprotector of his wife in his private life.Other than such brief appearances as accessories for the maleego, women are absent from these “political” memoirs. On the onehand this can be seen as a reflection of the political situation inmid-twentieth century France, where formal politics existed as adomain virtually closed to women. On the other, it underlines thefundamental problem with the traditional classification of“political” memoir; since the exclusion of half the population fromparticipation in the formal political process is itself a politicalquestion, the definition of “political” memoir then paradoxicallyfunctions to exclude such aspects of politics.The memoirs of Robert Coulondre and André François-Poncetrepresent a common approach to the traditional “political” memoir.They reflect and advocate a traditional liberal approach topolitics and social change. The “interests of the nation” aresilently assimilated with the interests of the French malebourgeoisie and define the limits of the possible in Frenchpolitics and diplomacy. It is this aspect of the politics ofpersonal narratives that a feminist approach to personal narrativesuncovers. The veracity of the author’s account of his particularactions is no longer of fundamental importance to a study ofpolitics. It is in their representations of their own role, andtheir relationships to others that men of power reveal the politicsof their society.66Chapter Four:ConclusionsFeminism is, by definition, a revolutionary ideology: its goalis to bring an end to the oppression of women. A considerableamount of feminist literature has been written demonstrating thecomplex and deep rooted functioning of this oppression intwentieth-century society. To reveal the mechanisms by which it ismaintained, however, is insufficient. Feminist theory, researchand activism must work consistently to undermine the foundationsupon which such oppression rests.While postmodern theory has been closely concerned with therelationship between power and knowledge production, this thesishas attempted to move beyond postmodernism to a self-consciouslyfeminist approach. Theory can be, and is, borrowed from postmodernthinkers for the pursuit of feminist goals. In this way, inchapter one, the dichotomy of personal and political upon which thecategory of “political memoir” is based has been deconstructed toreveal both that the border between the two is profoundly politicalin its impact and implications and that neither category can beunderstood independently of the other. The literary canon iscalled into question for its traditional reliance on male norms inthe definition, classification, and evaluation of literary genres.The long standing distinction between memoir and autobiography iscriticized for the forced compartmentalization of the public andprivate which it implies. As feminist literary theorists haveargued women, in particular, have regularly transgressed this67generic boundary in the crafting of their personal narratives. Mentoo must negotiate this distinction and to a large degree theirsuccessful separation of their public from their private lifereflects their socialization to the power position of masculinityin a patiarctha1 society.Chapter two demonstrates the political nature of women’s so-called personal lives. By examining the life stories of bothSimone de Beauvoir, a middle-class writer, philosopher andprofessor, and Emilie Caries, a peasant and a teacher, thepolitical implications of personal negotiations with social rolesand socio-political structures are demonstrated. In other words,the very notion of a personal realm is a political construct.Chapter three complements and reinforces the points made inchapter two by demonstrating the ways in which a personalnegotiation of gender and class socialization is implied in textsfocused on providing personal testimony of involvement in “highpolitics.” By examining the power assumed and the authorityclaimed in these texts, we return again to a study of thefundamental structuring of social politics along the lines ofgender.This thesis does not aim to open the category of “politicalmemoir” up to a more diverse group than have traditionally found aplace there. Any attempt to draw a boundary separating personalnarratives into classes of “non-political” and “political” assumesthat the author has the right to define the experiences of others.Since the personal is political, all personal narratives testify torr02ç1QLI‘pc-I-0202Cl0Cl)0((1)(1i)(Q0I-io<k<H,Cl)CDCl)CDCD02CDCl)0—rCl)02H-hQ.CC)0rtQfrH-1HH0-(12i02frH-H-f1çr02001C1H-02CDH<02C-I-ci0I-IrtCDC-I-0H-0(QhI-1H-rI-H0H-Cl)•CD0CDPH-00CD<CDH-CDCDH--02CD0202(1)CDH-CD(12Cl)IH-02CDr(-I-CDH-HCDHCD(12Hi0HCl)H-(1200H-0H-H-Ci)Cl)0CD020CDc-i-(12CDhi0Cl)loCDH--02102(120F1(D0Cl0CDH-c-i-0‘DCD0CD-Cl)H-H•i—ai.CDH-HCl)(1)Cl)H-çii-iiCl)Cl)c-i-i--iCDCDhi•coc-i-Cl)0 CD(12CDCl)H-00H-02(120H-QCD00Cl)F-H,0Cl)H,Ic-i-c-i-M0CD0HH-ciCl)c-i-Cl)H-<c-i-H-hi,H,Cl)0202-.hih020Cl)c-i-H-CDCDCD0c-i-CDci0H--Cl)c-i-c-i-cic-i-Cl)i-02F—iH0Cl)HH,Cl)ci<HH,F-HCDCD0CDCDF-0Cl)ciCl)c-i-((12lQCDloCDCDhic-i-‘Cl)Hc-ic-i-1—iciCD0HCDCDCD0Cl))0CDH-c-i-CDCD00I—ac-i--‘•CD0CDH-H-00H-H000CDc-iH&)CD000Cl)h’c-iMc-i-c-i-Cl)00CDCl)Cl)-CDCl)I-IciCl0c-i--Q(1H-02H-F-H,00-0020CDCDH-Cl)HCDc-i-H-‘CDgCD0=ciCDi-j02H-CDc-i-c-i-tic-i-02CD<0CDH-=CDCDCD00H-CD0H-Cl)Cl)-H-0Cl)0F-H-F-0Cl)02CD0F-c-iCDCDI—H-02CDH-hi(12CDH-Cl)Cl(1)CDH-•CD=)lH,c-ic-i0c-i-<Cl)0h0Cl)Hc-i-CDCl)0CDCDCD0c-i-I-0 Cl)0H-CDH,c-lc-i-H-CDCDCDH-000CQ(12i0I-0CD02H-CDCl)CD02HHH-c-i-(120CDH<0Cl)CD)0Cl)H-00CDH-CDCl)Cl)CD00CD0Cl)Cl)Cl)H,0c-i-02I-’l)c-i-02020)MH-Cl)p0CDaCDCl)CD002H,02Cl)tic-i-02H-Cl)c-iH-0H,CDCl)00CDH,‘002Cl)F-H-CDF-=CDCD00‘<00idCD0H-0CD‘c-i-0H-dhi,c-i-i-c-i--Cl)0Cl)c-iCD0CDc-i-Cl)Cl)0)Cl)H-H-c-i-c-i-0Cl)Cl)0CDc-i-<H-0cic-i-0<I-Cl)Cl)CDc-idc-i-l-Cl)0HCl)CD‘-<HHCDIICDCD0H-Cl)Cl)00Cl)02CDF-=ciciCDhlCl)CDH,CDcif-hhF-69category.’ Cromwell suggests (but fails to prove) that the womenin question exercised some influence over the conduct of formaldiplomacy. What is significant here is that the argument forinclusion maintains the traditional definition of politics. Thisis also fundamental to Mostow’s argument. His essay is based onthe goal to reclassify nikki as “political” rather then literarymemoirs. “... I will argue that these memoirs are political, notonly in the sense that all writing is political, but also in thesense that these works were specifically commissioned by majorpolitical figures, for specifically political reasons.”2 Theimplication is that the prestige and value of these works will beraised by the recognition of their “political” content.If the argument of this thesis were that “political memoir”was a myth because it, by definition, excluded women then theseessays would be sufficient proof of the fallacious nature of myargument. In fact, they do not in any way contradict the evidenceprovided or the arguments made. These women are only granted entrybecause of their status as observers of “high politics.” Aspersons they are valued as observers rather than actors. Thedefinition of “political” which is used masks their politicalagency. The classification of these memoirs as “political,” then,still functions to maintain a limited view of politics and does not1 Valerie Cromwell, “‘Married to Affairs of State’: Memoirsof the Wives and Daughters of British Diplomats” in George Egertoned. “Political Memoir: Essays on the Politics of Memory,” Ts.,207-234; and Joshua Mostow, “Japanese Nikki as Political Memoirs”in Egerton ed., 106-120.2 Mostow, 107. (italics in original)70draw attention to the ways in which these narratives reveal thegender divisions of their society and the ways in which these textsnegotiate these political aspects of their experience.The two other types of “political memoir” by women which couldbe offered as counter evidence would be the memoirs of women whosucceeded in traditional politics, such as Margaret Thatcher, or ofthose who were involved in “informal” political movement (that is,organized around a specific political goal, rather than for theattainment of formal political power) such as the women whoorganized and led the protests to save the forests of ClayoquotSound here in British Columbia. In both instances, yet again, atraditional definition of politics would function as the standardof measure allowing their inclusion and other aspects of the textswould take second billing. The feminist analysis proposed by thisthesis would remain pertinent and useful since even if such womenwere to explicitly deny the relevance of gender, their texts wouldcontain information about how gender shaped their experience or howthey managed to defy prescribed gender roles in some instances.Essentially the same argument applies to the memoirs ofrevolutionaries. Milton Israel in an article entitled “IndianNationalist voices: Autobiography and the Process of Return”examines numerous memoirs including those of Mahatma Ghandi. Whilethese writings were used effectively to serve revolutionarypolitical purposes, to distinguish them from other personalnarratives as “political,” still reinforces the concept of apolitical leadership class. 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c-i-LOCDMp)QCD0c-CMiCDCDU)0CDciøH-CDH-QU)H,ctCDCD0cici’CDCDOZHHMH-CDQU)U)ciciMiCDCDCDOCDCDcictciHU)CDU)°-QMiU)(ClH-U)CDCl)CDCDHH.0Mici)00cCU)HU)ctctcici0CDU)OHoci)l<U)cictlOHHctCDHctctU)HHctc-i-WQU)CDCDOH.0cCH-H-CDcictCDct.0H-QOctH-0CD0CDHciOCDci0ciCDcCHHH,CDQCDciZI-ci)XU)U)QQHci)ci000HøCD0°-CDCD..<CDCDHU) gCDCDCDci:U)Hi)ctCDCDciU)cCDci)U)ci0Q.CDU)U)c-i-0i-hWU)U)cioci)c-i-IQU)CDCDciU)HNU)(ok<ctQC)PQU)H0OCD0H-U)CDc-i-HU)0CD0MiCDci-0i—1cip)U)QH,U)c-i-H-QQOctc-iHMiCDHciU)Hc-i-.U)H.CDCDOQ)HU)ciXH-0i-HciH.I—OH,CDCDH.H)°=ctHictciCD-i-,CDFjciMiCDI-QCDH0CDU)i’ci-U)CDCD0c-tci)-CD-dHCD0HCDH-H-H0pcCciU)WciH-OU)U)CDCD0cCH--ctCD<0CDH-00CD(ClCDci(QCDU)CDH-HciHctQCDCDcCNCDH-OU)CD0c-i--U)c-i-HKc-i-CD0MiCDctHH-oOCDCDCDU)Q.0H-a-ciC0.U)ctU)ctCDCD0CDCDH-CD0D0ci)ctOcil-hH-ciCDHU)<H,HMiCDk<c-i-c-t0U)CDMici<wCD0CDI<U)CDOCDOcic-rCDQQc-IciHHci)0i-—iciQ.0U)H.1<CDct0<WCDci)ctCDCDCDciH-HHOctH-U)CDct0CDU)QH.00HO0HHCDcicicictCD0ciCDciciCDO00-•-CD<U)H,CDCDMiICDH ci H H CD ci- 0 CD H c-i H-=U)C—)0ci)ci-Mic-i-Cl-0CDci)0 0ci H ci1<0C)-H-=c-i- H ci) U) U) ci) CD Mi ci 0cici CD ciU) ci CD ci) C)77That ambivalence was the source of the argument in thisthesis.I completed my course work in the spring of 1992. I also wenton strike as a teaching assistant in solidarity with the universitysupport staff in the month prior to the exam period. Frustratedand disillusioned, I left the campus and joined a feministcollective here in Vancouver. I spent the next eight monthsworking as a “political activist.” I also tried to begin work onmy thesis. By this point, however, both training and experience inboth these activities told me that this was not possible.Historian and political activist seemed incompatible.My intention had been to look at a series of political memoirsproduced by those who had held power in the years that led to thedefeat of France in 1940. I wanted to look at the way they toldthe story in a postwar period of intense political restructuring.How did they use their memoirs to warn and educate theirreadership? And it’s funny, as I rewrote that description, itstruck me again as an interesting project. And yet there wassomething wrong and it took me until June of 1993 to actually say,“I do not agree with the way ‘political’ has been defined for thediscussion of ‘political memoir.’” The political events andactions all around me did not fit the definition. The flood gatesopened. “Political” was exclusionary of my political experience78and made suspect the ideology with which I worked but not that ofmy masters. Angry, fascinated and resolved, I returned.After a bit of reading and a bit of thought. I sat down andwrote the thesis you have read. And submitting it to you is a formof closure. But it does not mean this is all I think there is tosay on the subjects of ‘the political, ‘ of ‘memoirs, ‘ or of theirrelationship to the way we define and study ‘history.’ Nor does itmean that this could form the core of a reworking and extension toa larger critique. Some of the ideas could be carried forward buteven were I to sit down tomorrow to write a seventy-five pagethesis entitled “The Myth of Political Memoir: A Feminist Critique”it would be a very different piece.I like the first chapter. I would read more and try to bettertrace the evolution of feminist thought about the relationshipbetween power and knowledge. I would go to the popular texts whichhave formed the core of feminist activist theorizing and try todraw out the theoretical arguments which have been ignored becausethey are not academically sanctioned or convoluted. I would lookat feminist magazines and propaganda and make explicit theoriginality of feminist ideas about socialization as the power todefine. But this would be a (worthwhile) project onto itself.I think comparative studies are important and I like the ideaof drawing together Beauvoir, Carles, François-Poncet and79Coulondre. The selection however, was not entirely consonant withmy objectives and reflects the degree to which I remained tied tomy original project. The comparative basis could have been muchbroader. If I had worked with a greater diversity of texts andincluded working class men and women, French colonialists andpeoples who had been colonized by the French for instance, I couldhave begun to draw out more information from those texts and thetexts I did study about the socialization and negotiation of ideasabout class and race and strengthened my observations about gender.A larger sample base could have also led to interesting suggestionsabout the degree to which shared language does not necessarily meanshared, unifying discourse because of different geographical andsocial place. But then again, even these studies would have beensuggestive (not conclusive) of socialized politics. The texts Ihave studied, have, I hope, allowed me to highlight and perhapsbegin to rupture some of the fissures in the edifice of politicalhistory. And this would be a closure which would open up newpossibilities.

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